For being smack dab in the middle of a boring stretch of preseason, this last week was sure exciting. Most of the league is busy trying to determine who of their 90 will make the final 53-man roster while trying to keep the injury bug at bay. Not the 49ers, they're tinkering, fine-tuning and getting rid of 1st-round draft picks.
We'll lead off with the A.J. Jenkins trade. I was shocked by it. I figured he'd be on the roster. The wide receiver position has been so jumbled that any of a number of guys could end up as the No. 2. This clears things up a bit, only because Jon Baldwin (whom we got in return) will need time to acclimate and so little will be expected from him in these first weeks.
One thing that is certain is that this will put to rest the biggest lightning rod for debate that I've seen on the site (I wasn't here for Alex's bad years). I felt I was down the middle on Jenkins' prospects. I had given him a free pass during his rookie year solely based on him being a Baalke selection. Once the year was over I became skeptical. He then entered the domain of needing to show me something for me to have faith in him. In his entire time here as a 49er he never showed me anything, thus making it harder for me to hold out much hope.
As for the acquisition of Baldwin, it could pay dividends down the road. I can't see how he'll make an impact early on. He's still got to learn the playbook. He should, at the very minimum, secure the last WR spot and have time to prove himself or demonstrate his potential until Mario Manningham returns some time after Week 6. He's said to be a very good run blocker and looking at his stats, he wasn't far off of Randy Moss' production last year. He accomplished that with Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn as his quarterback. Maybe Harbaugh, Roman, Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis can get something out of the youngster.
I can safely say I have more faith in his development than in AJ's. Plus, meritocracy has won out. Now the team won't have to justify why they cut Lavelle Hawkins for Jenkins after the former clearly outplayed him.
After the trade was announced it became time to take a deeper look at what we received in return. Jon Baldwin is a fellow first-round pick, taken the year before AJ, who has yet to live up to his potential. The knock on him out of college was inconsistency, lack of focus and maturity issues and the same problems seem to exist, according to Chiefs observers. This post has some links to pre-draft scouting reports as well. I found Draft Breakdown's to be comprehensive. | A.J. Jenkins trade: What are the 49ers getting with Jon Baldwin? (Fooch)
Mr James Brady explains to us all why it's OK for your GM to miss on a pick. A lot of people are giving the 2012 draft a lot of grief. We must remember that 2013 picks were acquired from it. 2012 was a weak year. Baalke, however, is not weak. | Trent Baalke screwed up with A.J. Jenkins pick, and that's OK, 49ers fans (Brady)
What is a challenge trade? It's when two teams trade guys straight up, a normal occurrence in some sports, but rare in football. The challenge is: "I challenge you to get some lemonade out of my lemon....I'll do the same with your lemon". Does it work? You'll have to read the post to see. | Jon Baldwin and AJ Jenkins - Their Chances in the "Challenge Trade" (Carroll)
Another thing to look in the aftermath of the Jenkins-Baldwin trade is the salary cap ramifications. We're freeing up money for the future by taking on a bit more this year. That is a positive, especially if you view both of the players in the trade to be dead weight (I don't). | A deeper dive into Jon Baldwin-A.J. Jenkins trade salary cap ramifications (Hurley)
49ers vs Chiefs
One of my favorite things to take from preseason games is the snap count. While you can never be sure exactly what Coach Harbaugh is thinking, it provides you with the opportunity to make all sorts of inaccurate presumptions about his thinking. | 49ers vs. Chiefs snap count: How much did the starters and backups play? (Fooch)
Anthony Ly gives you his observations from the Chiefs game. Any post that has a reference to Mark Sanchez' butt fumble will get points from me. Michael Wilhoite continued to excel while Patrick Omameh continued to, um...de-cel? Eric Reid, meanwhile, seems to be working his way into the starting free safety spot. | The Quick Slant: Notes & Observations from 49ers vs. Chiefs (Ly)
Wes Hanson has some thoughts from Arrowhead Stadium. He actually went to the game. Funnily enough, a good portion of it was surrounding a certain wide receiver and their inability to beat press coverage. In one instance, Anquan Boldin got in his face and gave him some seriously strong words, that were not audible in the stands. Body language says a lot. | My Journey to Arrowhead Stadium, Part One (Hanson)
Arrow Up, Arrow Down is a new series. We've got some fancy graphics to go with it. In the series Fooch discusses who's stock has risen and who's stock has fallen after the most recent games, using Harbaugh-speak. On offense against the Chiefs it was arrow up times infinity for B.J. Daniels. Leading the game-winning drive and finishing it with a beautiful pass to Chuck Jacobs is a sure fire way to win praise. | 49ers vs. Chiefs: Offense arrow up, arrow down (Fooch)
On the defensive side of the ball, there was a lot of arrow up going on. When your second team defense can beat down another NFL team's starting offense, you're on the right track. Nick Moody led the team in tackles and Perrish Cox had two sacks. There's not a single arrow down to be found. | 49ers vs. Chiefs: Defense arrow up, arrow down
WHAT?!? I knew Ricardo Lockette wasn't making this team. That was obvious. He'd shown nothing at all aside from a couple long catches in one practice and a special teams hit on a guy who deserved to be hit for his poor decision making. What I don't understand is why Seneca Wallace is being brought in. He was just cut by the Saints, didn't play in 2012 and has so little to offer. There's no way he makes the team. I guess this is the best way to light a fire under Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien. | 49ers sign Seneca Wallace, waive Ricardo Lockette (Tre9er)
James explains why the 49ers had to do something about the situation at backup quarterback. It's been ugly so far this preseason. Going into camp I assumed the depth chart would be Colin Kaepernick, Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien. I didn't really see how it could play out any different. I'm now convinced that Daniels will be our No. 3 / developmental QB and one of the other two is going to remain as the primary backup. I won't be confident in any of them until I see more. And if Wallace is our backup QB, I'm watching soccer. | 49ers are too good to be complacent with backups, especially QBs (Brady)
In the wake of the victory over the Chiefs, all anybody wanted to talk about was B.J. Daniels. OK, that's an overstatement. We also discussed Perrish Cox, MarQueis Gray and a host of other stuff. | Niners Nation #Channel49 Twitter Q&A Mailbag, Vol. 23: Perrish Cox, SF vs KC, Special Teams & More (Malone & Woods)
Liberty JAC has changed his name to Andrew Carroll. This may come as a surprise to you, but I'm pretty sure his name was Andrew Carroll at birth. So now we have a 'new' writer. Here's a piece dissecting advanced stats and their relationship to the 49ers. | This Week in Advanced Stats and the San Francisco 49ers looks at Colin Kaepernick, Michael Crabtree, Smith Bros (Carroll)
There are two excellent offerings from the FanPost department for you to enjoy. First up is sethfarns for their excellent breakdown of Jon Baldwin's targets last year. He clearly suffered from poor quarterback play. How much of his lack of success was his fault? Have a deeper look. | Film Review: Jon Baldwin's 47 Targets from 2012 (sethfarns)
Next is the ultimate letter welcoming 'new' fans to the fold. You'd think it'd have a bit of that we'll-be-here-when-you're-gone vibe, but it doesn't. It's very inviting, but lays out some good ground rules to abide by during your bandwagon stay. | An open letter to new bandwagon fans (Niners with Attitude)
Being a Sheep
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