49ers, A.J. Jenkins’ rookie season a failure
The San Francisco 49ers were dominant enough as a team to ascend to Super Bowl XLVII, but 49ers A.J. Jenkins’ rookie season was a failure. Head Coach Jim Harbaugh has defended the young wide receiver over five months ago, Jenkins “is going to be an outstanding football player”, but that doesn’t change the fact that he was a first round pick who was placed on the practice squad for most of 2012. Now, I know that there is no telling if Jenkins will be the outstanding player Harbaugh claims him to be, and he could be that player down the line, but when you draft a first round player. You expect that player to be an instant contributor from day one. He should have at least developed into a number three or four wide receiver on the depth chart, but Jenkins has proven to be nothing more than a project player.
Imagine if the 49ers selected a player at the bottom of the first round that was an impact player this season? Someone like Doug Martin or even a David Wilson would have been better selections at the position the 49ers selected Jenkins. LaMichael James would not have been selected if the 49ers selected Wilson or Martin as a result, but no one can argue that Wilson and Martin are not better overall talents than James. The impact Wilson or Martin would have made on the 49ers in 2012, would have made a completely different season all together. Not to mention, that Jenkins would have probably been still available in the second round for the 49ers.
However, this one blunder shouldn’t take away from the 49ers becoming one of the best draft and develop teams in the NFL.
Who knows what A.J. Jenkins will become in the next two-to-three seasons with the 49ers coaching staff, but his presence on the roster in 2012 shows Jenkins has a long way to go. He hasn’t even caught one ball, because the only target he had in 2012 was dropped in the regular season. Maybe he’ll catch one in the Super Bowl, but you can’t deny that A.J. Jenkins rookie season was a failure.
James Cobern is a Featured Journalist for TPF and can be contacted at JCobern@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com.