When the San Francisco 49ers selected University of Illinois’ wide receiver, A.J Jenkins with the 30th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, they set themselves up for criticism. Whether it was warranted or not, it’s totally up to Jenkins to justify the pick. The 49ers are counting on him, but so far this off-season he hasn’t proven himself worthy.
According to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, A.J. Jenkins “looked like one of the worst receivers on the field” during mandatory June mini-camp. He was rarely on the field with the second team offense and reportedly made, “less than impressive plays. Randy Moss, Micheal Crabtree, and Kyle Williams have looked significantly better, which is not the ideal situation for San Franciso. When you select a Wide Receiver in the 1st round, it’s expected for him to get playing-time early. Though, the position is difficult to transition from the collegiate level to professional – “less than impressive” is just something you don’t want to hear in a non-padded practice.
Should San Francisco be overly concerned? My answer is no. AJ Jenkins had trouble adjusting and learning early in his college career. Some of his games at Illinois even displayed his inability to adjust early. There are players that develop with more reps, and I believe AJ Jenkins is that type of player. The 49ers are banking on Jenkins to have success. I don’t believe they drafted AJ with the intent of him becoming a superstar. He was a player with a “high floor” that fits the 49ers’ system. For San Francisco, AJ was a “we know what we’re getting” pick. So far this off-season, they’re wondering if they missed something. But let’s not go overboard here – he’ll have plenty of chances to prove himself worthy.
Emmanual Benton is a featured Washington Redskins Columnist for Rantsports.com and a NFL Rumors section contributor. If you enjoy talking Redskins and all things NFL, follow Emmanual on Twitter: Follow @Roccoskins