The months of May, June, and July are desperate for material for the NFL, and so, when there are not OTA "holdouts" and arrests to report on, NFL.com comes up whatever it can to keep us occupied. The latest is a look at draft history. NFL.com's college football writers went division-by-division this week looking at the best and worst draft pick in each franchise's history.
I don't think anybody will be surprised by the best and worst for the 49ers. They went with Joe Montana as the best, and A.J. Jenkins as the worst. I don't know how deep they went into 49ers draft history prior to Montana, but I imagine a lot of people will agree on this.
They narrowed this one down to Joe Montana vs. Jerry Rice. Here is what they had to say about the pick:
This is a tough choice between Montana and Jerry Rice (1985 NFL Draft, Round 1, No. 16 overall). Like Rice, Montana is a prominent fixture in "greatest ever" conversations. Unlike Rice, Montana wasn't a first-round selection, dropping in the draft and becoming a steal in the third round. By performing at an incredible level on the game's grandest stage, Montana cemented his status as the most clutch quarterback in league history. Montana won all four Super Bowls he played in, and was named game MVP in three of those victories.
If we look at career AV, Rice is No. 1 and Montana is No. 2. Obviously they accrued some of those numbers with other teams (Rice in particular), but they obviously had slightly decent 49ers careers! Terrell Owens ranks third in career AV, ahead of Ronnie Lott, Ricky Watters, and cornerback Jimmy Johnson.
The 49ers have had their share of bad picks, but it's hard to disagree with A.J. Jenkins. Kentwan Balmer and Jim Druckenmiller are two guys who could be in the mix as well, but they at least made a statistical contribution. Jenkins played his snaps, and accrued no traditional stats. Here's what NFL.com had to say:
Rarely in the history of the game does a first-round draft selection offer zero in the way of production. That's exactly what happened for the 49ers with Jenkins, who played in just three games while in San Francisco and registered no catches. In his rookie season, Jenkins played just 37 offensive snaps, and was targeted only once (he dropped the pass). In 2013, the 49ers traded Jenkins to theKansas City Chiefs in exchange for equally inept receiver Jon Baldwin. Baldwin at least caught some passes for the 49ers; three for 28 yards in his only season with the team.
Pro Football Reference offers up a customized search option for draft picks. I searched just by 49ers first round picks. Along with Jenkins, other first round picks to accumulate zero Career AV are Harry Babcock (1953), James Pace (1958), and Tom Stolhandske (1953). Those three all accumulated some NFL stats, and I believe PFR does not have AV dating to way back then.
Whatever the case, Jenkins is a very selection for worst draft pick in franchise history.