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Monday, April 22, 2013

The AJ Jenkins factor: Why the Niners should not trade up for a WR this draft.

Despite recent rumors of trading up for WR standouts such as Tavon Austin (West Virginia) or Cordarrelle Patterson (Tennessee), and even waiting around to see if Robert Woods (USC) lands in their hands, the 49ers have bigger priorities then Wide Receiver. Not to mention the holes they need to fill are rich in talent this upcoming draft. With many defensive standouts declaring for the draft this spring, many offensive players have been put in the back burner for contenders like the 49ers who feel a few patches to their obvious holes will propel them back to the Super Bowl.

   Confidence coming into the draft cannot turn into complacency this time around as the Niners are exactly in the position they need to be in, possessing a late first rounder (31), and an early second round pick (34) the talent they need will be there when the select.

  The biggest needs for the team are obvious in the Niner Empire: Free Safety, Defensive tackle, Cornerback, Offensive line (center/guard), downhill style Running back, Tight End, etc. Feel free to add WR to your mock list but if the Niners trade up and lose picks in what is considered a deep draft, and not top heavy with talent, it will be a waste. Especially with the amount of depth and talent already on the roster at the WR position. Recently acquired Anquan Boldin (Trade), and the leagues most improved player last season Michael Crabtree top the list along with Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams, both of whom the 49ers would like to see healthy, whole, and strong again next season. If injuries are what worry the 49ers then selecting a WR in the draft is not a bad idea, just not in the 1st round or 2nd round, two key rounds in which the Niners can fill with defensive studs who can start or make an impact immediately.

  Another big reason why they should not waste their 1st rounder trading up for Austin or Patterson is the AJ Jenkins factor. Remember him?
Jenkins was the 49ers 1st round selection (30th overall) in the 2012 draft. The first team All Big Ten standout out of Illinois, whom many projected to go in the 2nd round, was plucked by Baalke and Harbaugh a lot earlier then expected.
Jenkins impressed many with his speed, athleticism, and deep threat ability at Illinois. His senior season he totaled 90 receptions, 1276 yards receiving, and 8 TD receptions. Numbers I'm sure Harbaugh and Baalke took into account and aided their decision to draft Jenkins, the player they wanted, at pick 30.

  Jenkins like many talented young football players needed time to adjust to the Professional game, the overall speed of it, and the In depth playbooks, a difficult task for any rookie. Many of whom sit out or get little playing time in order to develop an understanding of the game, a mental process endured in order to excellerate the maturation process and boost the confidence of the young athlete. Learning from the coaching staff and shadowing veterans can often help rookies develop if the individual efforts are present as well.

   With recent news of AJ Jenkins putting in extra work with Colin Kaepernick this off season, the Niner Empire can only hope to see improved results this coming season from Jenkins. With Moss and Ginn departed and the uncertainty with Williams and Manningham coming off of injury, this is the time for Jenkins to step his game up and silence the critics.

  With the given track record of Harbaugh and his staff for developing talent, and Baalke's keen eye for finding talent, I am fully confident AJ Jenkins will be a different player next season. Therefore I'm calling the Niners bluff on trading up for a WR, despite the increased scouting for that position, the Niners are more likely to take a risk on a Defensive lineman or Defensive Back this Draft. We shall see what Baalke and Harbaugh have up their sleeve.

1.) 49ers draft a WR in late rounds (5th,6th, maybe 7th).

2.) AJ Jenkins develops into the deep threat the 49ers need and becomes vital part of Niners passing attack. Most improved player anybody?

Rob Lara


  1. Finally!! Sombody with sense. I think they can easily get 4 starters with their first 5 picks. Good article, hope Harbaugh takes a look!!

  2. Cyprien, Hayden, Hunt, Jenkins, Lattimore and Kelce. Impact receiver in the later rounds = Dennard Robinson.

  3. Or it just might be that Jenkins is a bust and the niners know it. If this is the case, then the need for a WR does become critical. The niners did well last year, but the 2012 draft was a complete bust, another bad draft would sink the niner return to sb contention.