Today the unthinkable happened. You're all already aware that A.J. Jenkins has been traded for Jon Baldwin. The news came as a shock. I had just written yesterday that there was no way the team would cut him. They must have had it on their mind, knowing he wasn't among the top six receivers currently healthy and in camp. So they shipped him to Kansas City, a place were old Niners go to retire, for a fellow first round receiver who's failed to live up to expectations.
The trade is exciting, in some aspects. What we get in Jon Baldwin is a freakishly athletic wide receiver who's been unable to take advantage of his physical tools. He's 6'4", runs a 4.5 40-yard dash and has a 42" vertical leap. For some perspective on that leaping ability, Vince Carter has a 43" and Dominique Wilkins a 42". Kobe has a 38' vertical leap. He played basketball, was recruited in that capacity out of high school but chose to focus on football at Pitt. It all jumps out that he'd be the ultimate red zone target. So what's wrong, here?
The knock on Baldwin out of college was that he wasn't focused and had maturity issues. He drops easy passes, while making spectacular catches. He's been involved in the Chiefs passing attack for the last two years, but failed to live up to the hype, despite Kansas City's need for receiving help. Quarterback play can be partly to blame, but basically it sounds like he needs a kick in the bum.
That's where Harbaugh and Co. come in. Harbaugh is a great motivator, Anquan Boldin a consummate professional and an ideal mentor for him to learn from, and Vernon Davis could be said to have suffered from some of these same issues before Mike Singletary's underpants showed him the way. If it all comes together he could be a great addition to our passing game, and all reports have him being an excellent run blocker. Enough optimism, though.
The reality is he's got two games and some spare time to impress. He needs to learn a complicated playbook, he's trying to mesh with an inexperienced, albeit awesome, quarterback and he's never shown himself to be a terribly driven person. He's got an uphill battle. He should be able to hold a roster spot until Mario Manningham returns sometime after Week 6.
I just wish this trade had happened in April.
Jenkins - Baldwin Trade
Cam Inman gets the top spot in explaining the trade. Most of the links in this section should all have the same content. So pick your favorite writer, click the link, or simply trust me that the trade was made and read the analysis section below. | 2012 top-pick Jenkins shipped to Chiefs in exchange for WR Baldwin (Inman)
OK, not all links are the same. Matt Maiocco has the Harbaugh news conference embedded. He also takes stock of the WR position. Boldin, Kyle Williams, Marlon Moore and Quinton Patton are all locks (or near-locks). That leaves Baldwin competing with Austin Collie, Lavelle Hawkins, Chad Hall, Ricardo Lockette, Kassim Osgood and Chuck Jacobs for the final two spots. | Jenkins traded to Chiefs for Baldwin (Maiocco)
What? Your link doesn't have a slide show? Pshh! | Block-BUST-er: 49ers trade Jenkins to Chiefs for Baldwin (Branch)
49ers Trade Jenkins for Baldwin (Biderman)
BASG does a good job of speaking for both of us. He explains AJ's tenure as a 49er and notes why Baldwin is an upgrade. After reading this article, I'm hoping he and Colin Kaepernick practice that fade route, jump ball in the end zone thing 500 times a day. That's the only route he needs to run this year. (Mild sarcasm font not available in body of post) | Trading Jenkins for Baldwin is a ‘big' upgrade for 49ers (BASG)
The following excerpt sums up Jeninks' rookie year perfectly. "In his first season, he had the negative historic distinction of being one of two healthy wide receivers who were first round picks to not have a reception, the other being Clyde Duncan who was the 17th overall pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1984 and he only lasted in the league for two years." | A.J. Jenkins is officially a bust with the 49ers (Gin)
Sando looks at the trade and ESPN has a video embedded with two guys discussing the trade. Both guys are going to a more suitable scheme. Will that help? | Linking young WRs Jenkins, Baldwin, Quick (Sando)
Ah, if only games were played on paper. We would have won the 1987 Fairfield, CA city championship at baseball instead of getting swept out of the tourney. | On paper, Baldwin everything 49ers seeking in a starting WR (Barrows)
Sando and AFC West blogger Williamson discuss the trade in depth. One good point is that Alex Smith worked with AJ all last year, Andy Reid would have asked him his opinion. They still pulled the trigger. Alex is a good guy and he must have vouched. | 49ers' trade of Jenkins validates criticisms (Sando)
Assessing the A.J. Jenkins/Jonathan Baldwin Trade (49erswebzone)
Reactions to Trade
While nobody seemed terribly surprised that AJ departed, they all had nice things to say and wished him well in his new surroundings. I think we all hope he succeeds, just not as much as Baldwin does. | 49ers react to departure of A.J. Jenkins (Gin)
I know Harbaugh was simply defending one of his guys who was under fire, but I always had a feeling that implying someone is a fool for questioning AJ Jenkins' prospects as an NFL player could come back to haunt him. | Harbaugh meets ‘scribes, pundits, so-called experts' to sell Jenkins trade as ‘fresh start' (Inman)
Here's the transcript of the Harbaugh media session. | Coach's Notebook: Aug. 19 (49ers.com)
BJ Daniels News
Sometimes you're not really sure if one of the stories about your team is simply local news or national news. Then you click on SI and you see this! | Surprises, disappointments from the NFL preseason (SI.com)
Daniels Forces 49ers to Alter Plans (Scout.com)
Here's an interview with Quinton Patton. In it he reveals that it was not a Kaepernick fastball that did his finger in, but a Colt McCoy change-up. I like him. | Patton's broken finger results from unlikely source (Maiocco)
Patton Cleared to Catch Passes (49ers.com)
That's exactly what I wanted to hear. He's looked great so far. I still want to see him in coverage once one of our CBs gets beaten. He'll be required to save touchdowns. | First-round pick Reid expected to make starting debut (Branch)
Eric Reid Eager to Face Adrian Peterson (49ers.com)
Maiocco gives a very detailed recap of training camp. Worth a read. He has highlights, the play of camp, a review of all the rookies and more. He says the biggest thing to take away is the Kaepernick to Vernon Davis connection. It looked good, and bodes well. | 49ers camp recap: Kap, Davis make the connection (Maiocco)
A slide show of the entire 2012 calendar year. | San Francisco 49ers' 2012 Season in Pictures (NBC)
Kyle Williams Eyes Preseason Action (49ers.com)
Defensive Depth Encourages 49ers (49ers.com)
Does anyone want to give their WR projections for the year now that Mr Jenkins is out of the picture?
The most common list I see is Boldin, WIlliams, Moore, Patton, Collie and now Baldwin. Disagree?
Who's the odd man out when Mario Manningham comes back?
Being a Sheep
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