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49ers first-rounder Jenkins still struggling

A.J. Jenkins Pic Getty Images

Just keep in mind, there’s a long way to go.

Early returns on 49ers first-round pick A.J. Jenkins haven’t been great, however. He reported to rookie camp in May out of shape, and things haven’t gotten much better since.

According to Grant Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Jenkins played like “one of the worst wide receivers on the field” during mid-June minicamp. Cohn called Jenkins “the biggest letdown” of 49ers spring practices, and noticed that the 30th overall pick in the draft ran with the deep reserves in team drills.

Cohn suggested that Jenkins is no better than the Niners’ No. 5 receiver right now, behind Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss, Mario Manningham, and Kyle Williams.

Take all of this with a big grain of salt. Jenkins could run back a kickoff for a 100-yard touchdown in the first preseason game, and all will be forgotten. Shoot, he has the talent to leapfrog Manningham and Williams in the pecking order by early August.

As long Jenkins’ fall play doesn’t mirror what he did this spring.

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37 Responses to “49ers first-rounder Jenkins still struggling”
  1. someidiotfromouthereintheprojects says: Jun 16, 2012 9:04 PM

    yeah, i’m gonna take this with a massive grain of salt for now. this time last year blaine gabbert was wowing the crowd and cam newton looked absolutely clueless on the field.

    this is so middle of june.

  2. match25 says: Jun 16, 2012 9:09 PM

    Please don’t ever quote Grant Cohn again. He’s the worst. I think he’s 22 years old, fresh out of college and he got the job at the Democrat through his dad (also an extremely poor journalist at the Democrat). He tries to grab attention by writing provocative trash that generates hate mail. Please keep your Niner information limited to Maiocco and Barrows.

  3. tucson9er says: Jun 16, 2012 9:10 PM

    No worries, there’s a lot of time before this kid needs to be an impact player. Let him learn from the vets and if JR is still planning on the”hill” then that will be another source for him to learn from. He has talent, just needs to adjust to the NFL regime. Love the fact that we don’t need him right now because we’re so deep with our WR’s. Go Niners!!!

  4. jrock3x8 says: Jun 16, 2012 9:15 PM

    I watched Jenkins quite a bit being an Illini alum and I can tell you I’m not sure what teams were thinking drafting him in the first round.

    He’s got speed but in the NFL, who doesn’t?

    He’s not especially big and he doesn’t have the world’s best hands. That’s not a recipe for greatness in the NFL.

  5. 4t9er says: Jun 16, 2012 9:29 PM

    I always disregard anything that is written by Grant Cohn (or any Cohn), he didn’t like the draft choice from the beginning (wanted Fleener) and he always exaggerates.

  6. devasher says: Jun 16, 2012 9:30 PM

    Gee Evan he’s so freaking talented that’s why everyone scratched their head when he was taken in Rd. 1. Meanwhile Manninham has actually proven to be a top WR from his draft class…Yup Manningham is merely doomed to have the uber talented rookie to jump him.

  7. randallflagg52 says: Jun 16, 2012 9:39 PM

    You mean the biggest reach in years isn’t looking like a good player? I’m shocked.

  8. okldrdrs2111 says: Jun 16, 2012 9:55 PM

    Ha, while Jenkins is playing like “one of the worst receivers on the field”, 5th round draft pick Juron Criner across the bay is thriving

  9. sonoco says: Jun 16, 2012 9:58 PM

    Stop it on the reach crap people. NFL teams . . . I repeat NFL teams . . . had the guy in the mid-30’s. That said, there are many reasons to take this report with a grain of salt. Grant Cohn went absolutely apoplectic because the 49ers didn’t take Fleener as he had been recommending for weeks prior to the draft as if he had a clue and the reigning NFL executive of the year didn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. Jenkins clearly hasn’t impressed, but given the 49ers depth at WR they have time to bring him along.

  10. wherezwaldo says: Jun 16, 2012 10:02 PM

    So he’s doing better than Ted Ginn Jr?

  11. seeingwhatsticks says: Jun 16, 2012 10:03 PM

    Following up on what match25 said, Grant ripped the pick at the time and has gone out of his way to say that Jenkins is terrible ever since (despite other reporters writing to the contrary). That Jenkins is at best #5 on the depth chart means nothing because I don’t think they ever anticipated him being more than that in 2012. The goal for him would appear to be the long term replacement for Randy Moss.

    Grant Cohn is also the guy that tried to pick a fight with Anthony Davis. He and his father, who got him the job, routinely write more negatively on the 49ers than anyone else and have not been kind to Harbaugh since Harbaugh wouldn’t answer Lowell Cohn’s questions about Harbaugh’s own finger during the leadup to a playoff game. Both Cohns are hacks and should never be quoted on this site. If you really want to know what’s going on with t he 49ers there are plenty of great writers covering the team, including Matt Maiocco, Matt Barrows, and Cam Inman. Stick with them.

  12. seanx40 says: Jun 16, 2012 10:08 PM

    Is Jenkins already under contract?

    If not, this is surely not helping.

  13. shawgillette says: Jun 16, 2012 10:18 PM

    For all the ‘reach’ clowns out there… A man by the name of Aldon was widely considered a ‘reach’ at the time. I’ll take baalke over kiper any day.

  14. robertocfg says: Jun 16, 2012 10:26 PM

    “yeah, i’m gonna take this with a massive grain of salt for now. this time last year blaine gabbert was wowing the crowd and cam newton looked absolutely clueless on the field.”

    Uhh, this time last year Gabbert was wowing nobody and Newton wasn’t letting anybody down. There was a lockout, remember? That’s exactly the problem with last year. Rookies had no time to practice with their teams until the shortened training camp.

  15. hulkhogansays says: Jun 16, 2012 10:31 PM

    Poor Niners…Good team, UFL QB. By the time they figure it out those great defenders will be brittle. Would much rather be the Redskins who have the gem of all gems, RG3… is going to have a better year with a better franchise and on the way to Canton brother.

  16. backindasaddle says: Jun 16, 2012 10:39 PM

    Talent is one thing…. character is another. Jerry Rice had both and became, arguably, the greatest player of all time. This guy has talent, but obviously character is another thing. Without the character part of the equation he will fail. Work ethic is not an option.

  17. kingcarlbanks says: Jun 16, 2012 10:46 PM

    So what? Let him sit down for a year and learn from Moss And Manningham. I dont see why everybody is in a rush to get rookies on the field. The Niners finally have some depth at WR so let the kid develop. I doubt he was drafted to be the savior of the franchise like that kid in DC..

  18. sku80fjwh0 says: Jun 16, 2012 10:52 PM

    Consider the source. Grant Cohn threw a hissy fit when the Niners picked Jenkins and not whoever Cohn wanted.

    As others said above, he got into a ridiculous tiff with Anthony Davis (neither guy came off well, but Cohn used the Niners blog to elevate his beef with Davis) and as far as I know, never apologized, never acknowledged what he did was wrong, other than deleting those particular posts and Tweets. I’m not sure because I stopped following that blog.

    I wrote an email to the Santa Clara PD, and they said they got a lot of responses about Cohn’s posts about Davis. I guess Cohn probably got some protection from Daddy.

    My point? Another voice asking you not to give either Cohn any credibility.

  19. discosucs2005 says: Jun 16, 2012 10:54 PM

    Not that this means Jenkins isn’t playing poorly or anything, but, from a regular PD reader, Cohn is not a trustworthy source for any sort of information.

  20. goldrush36 says: Jun 16, 2012 11:01 PM

    hulkhogansays says: Jun 16, 2012 10:31 PM

    Poor Niners…Good team, UFL QB. By the time they figure it out those great defenders will be brittle. Would much rather be the Redskins who have the gem of all gems, RG3… is going to have a better year with a better franchise and on the way to Canton brother.
    _____________________________________

    LOL LOL LOL bettter team? I’m 100% positive history and the eternal future say otherwise. RG3 may well end up an elite QB but the deadskins are gonna be trash at least until Snyder is gone. Oh and Shanahan is one of the most overrated coaches ever. His all star cast made him look better than he is which is precisely why he has been complete garbage since losing Elway, Sharpe, and Davis. Oh and you are also only the 3rd best team all time in your own division…

  21. goldrush36 says: Jun 16, 2012 11:04 PM

    backindasaddle says: Jun 16, 2012 10:39 PM

    Talent is one thing…. character is another. Jerry Rice had both and became, arguably, the greatest player of all time. This guy has talent, but obviously character is another thing. Without the character part of the equation he will fail. Work ethic is not an option.

    _____________________________________

    He was actually well known for great character. He had the worst QB easily in division 1 football. Don’t believe me, just youtube it and watch every pass tumble like a punt and AJ have to wait on it. Yet he still produced, kept his mouth shut and only showed praise for his team. Hell his own head coach even said the QB was garbage

  22. goldrush36 says: Jun 16, 2012 11:30 PM

    Also Jenkins has had ups and downs but he has made some outstanding plays along the way. Like burning Carlos Rogers and making a beautiful leaping grab in the back corner of the endzone. Regardless, he is really only gonna be used in some sub packages and any success he has will just be considered added bonus. Crabtree as much as I don’t care for him… has added a little muscle and his foot is healthy. By all accounts the team says he is a lot quicker than they have ever seen him. Moss has a TON to prove and for that matter Manningham and Kyle Williams do too. They will be just fine letting AJ progress naturally. Oh and as everyone else said. Cohn and his daddy are both immature crybaby tools.

  23. jnova80 says: Jun 16, 2012 11:48 PM

    match25 says: Jun 16, 2012 9:09 PM

    Please don’t ever quote Grant Cohn again. He’s the worst. I think he’s 22 years old, fresh out of college and he got the job at the Democrat through his dad (also an extremely poor journalist at the Democrat). He tries to grab attention by writing provocative trash that generates hate mail. Please keep your Niner information limited to Maiocco and Barrows.
    ——————————————————AMEN! Cohn is a giant infant. He’d be a Youtube Vlogger if it weren’t for his daddy getting him a job.

  24. sea3369 says: Jun 16, 2012 11:54 PM

    Niner fans make me laugh…. So stuck on urselfs and ur blind squirrel found a nut last year team….

  25. hulkhogansays says: Jun 17, 2012 12:02 AM

    We play in a division where MEN play FOOTBALL. The NFC bEast. Not the Sunday School pickup divison where kids frollick around until the winner goes to eat cookies and drink juice. By the way, the trash of our division (CARDS) were dumped into that cupcake West and you all had trouble with them until finally last season HA! AND STILL we fight and will destroy with RG3 at the helm brother.

  26. rickthefactor says: Jun 17, 2012 12:06 AM

    Hulkhogansays

    Your just another miss informed individual who wants to buy into the 1st round hype. We’ll see what Mr RGIII has. The best team he played was Texas. They were not a dominate force. RG3 had a good “bowl game” but look who played against.” They played Washington. A team who wasn’t even the best in the Pac 10. I almost feel bad for myself by giving you attention on this thread. But your dumb. And need to learn your part. RG3 won’t be Cam Newton. And why even b0ther to compare any redskin on a niner thread when they lost last year in the redskin home. good luck mr redskin.

  27. benchwarmer69 says: Jun 17, 2012 12:12 AM

    The 9ers are looking like a pretty respectible team on paper.

  28. TIM says: Jun 17, 2012 12:34 AM

    According to Jim Harbaugh Jenkins is having a really good camp and is learning very well. Where do you outsiders get your false info to put in articles like this one ? (probably just making stuff up ).

  29. voxnovo says: Jun 17, 2012 12:35 AM

    The notion, as stated by the blogger, that Jenkins has the talent to leapfrog Manningham by early August is absurdly disrespectly of Manningham’s talent and accomplishments.

    Perhaps Mr. Silva either forgot or never knew that Manningham was widely viewed as a first round prospect before slipping to the third round due to off-the-field issues.

    During his time in the NFL, Manningham has made a slew of big plays in clutch situations, not least a TD catch to help the G-Men defeat the 49ers in the 2011 NFC championship game, followed two weeks later by the key reception in the Super Bowl game.

    He doesn’t deserve to be written about as though he barely merited a spot on someone’s practice squad — or perhaps not even.

    Though he has impressive measurables, Jenkins will have his work cut out for him trying to eclipse Manningham any time during his rookie season, and perhaps ever.

  30. goldrush36 says: Jun 17, 2012 12:58 AM

    haha yeah thats why dallas was the only team with a winning record vs the west last year huh? so beastly the east was

  31. pooflingingmonkey says: Jun 17, 2012 1:15 AM

    It’s funny when a Redskins fan chimes in, as if they were even slightly relevant. I’m not a 49ers fan by any means, but they are a much, much, much better team than the Redskins, and will be for the foreseeable future.

    If I were a Redskins fan, I’d become a baseball fan. Otherwise, DC sports fans have absolutely nothing to look forward to.

  32. rajbais says: Jun 17, 2012 2:15 AM

    He’s an Illinois receiver!!! He’s gonna suck at first!!!

    Just go ask Arrelious Benn before the ACL tear!!!!

  33. rmavs says: Jun 17, 2012 2:21 AM

    As a Vikings fan…I hope Moss sticks and gets a ring with the Niners…

  34. illwillthemick says: Jun 17, 2012 6:14 AM

    still cant belive they drafted him he wasnt anywhere near worth a 1st round pick

  35. ninerdynasty says: Jun 17, 2012 11:55 AM

    Cohn is just pissed off that the niners didnt pick his love Coby Fleener..

  36. oilman989 says: Jun 17, 2012 12:29 PM

    Once again, Silva provides what appears to be germane and pertinent info only to conclude with dismissive analysis. As the 30th overall pick, returning a kickoff for a TD in a preseason game will hardly endear himself to the ‘Niner’s coaching staff to the point where “all will be forgotten.”

    Interestingly, Matt Maiocco originally reported that Jenkins was terribly out of shape, and coach Harbaugh echoed those sentiments.

    Point 2: It doesn’t matter how much leapfrog “talent” you have; if you’re not dedicated to your craft, you’ll be a car-detailing, street corner sideshow in no time (see Rogers, Charles).

    And to think SF could have selected A. Jeffrey, S. Hill, or R. Randle – any of whom arguably would’ve made a bigger impact sooner in this offense. Heck, with a little patience, even R. Broyles would have been a wiser option.

    Over the last ten years, more than two-thirds of the players selected in the first round never made the Pro Bowl. It’s early, but it looks like Jenkins is well on his way toward earning that dubious honor.

  37. backindasaddle says: Jun 17, 2012 12:53 PM

    goldrush36 says:
    Jun 16, 2012 11:04 PM
    backindasaddle says: Jun 16, 2012 10:39 PM

    Talent is one thing…. character is another. Jerry Rice had both and became, arguably, the greatest player of all time. This guy has talent, but obviously character is another thing. Without the character part of the equation he will fail. Work ethic is not an option.

    _____________________________________

    He was actually well known for great character. He had the worst QB easily in division 1 football. Don’t believe me, just youtube it and watch every pass tumble like a punt and AJ have to wait on it. Yet he still produced, kept his mouth shut and only showed praise for his team. Hell his own head coach even said the QB was garbage
    ———————————————————————————————–

    Then why did he show up out of shape?

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