BLOOMINGTON, IN - OCTOBER 08: A.J. Jenkins #8 of the Illinois Illini catches a pass while defended by Lawrence Barnett #23 of the Indiana Hoosiers during the game at Memorial Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Bloomington, Indiana. Illinois won 41-20. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
The 49ers have just made their selection in the 2012 NFL Draft and have taken wide receiver AJ Jenkins of Illinois. I have to admit I don't know much about Jenkins other than as of late, there's been a lot of talk about him.
Why should we be surprised by this? I've been saying the last few days that the 49ers could take someone nobody would envision...much like some of the picks last year. Trent Baalke isn't afraid to trust his team's analysis and rating on a player.
Here are some scouting notes on Jenkins from NFP. Click here for more.
...displays a real savvy about his game when asked to find soft spots in coverage. Works his back toward the quarterback, understands angles and is always finding himself open vs. zone. Is also very coordinated when asked to adjust to the throw. Does a nice job extending his arms, plucking the football away from his frame and coming down with the catch. Displays good body control along the sideline as well, knowing where he's located, maintaining concentration and keeping his feet in bounds. Possesses good straight-line speed. Looks like a low 4.4 guy and is a potential vertical threat at the next level. Accelerates well underneath on crossing patterns and can run away from defenders in man coverage.
What I like about the pick is that the 49ers finally got serious about getting a top WR prospect, at least, on their board. Jenkins certainly has the speed to stretch the field and better hands than Ted Ginn. If they felt he was the best WR on the board long-term, then this is the pick we all want, in reality.
Still to most of us average Joes it seems like a very surprising pick, because most feel like Jenkins would have been available much later in the draft. But let's at least give the 49ers credit after the gems they unearthed in last year's draft.