Bleacher Report put together a list going over each NFL team’s worst first-round pick over the last decade, and it is no surprise which player made the list for the Niners.
San Francisco picked receiver A.J. Jenkins with the 30th pick in the 2012 Draft. After being absolutely useless during his rookie season, the Niners dealt Jenkins to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Here is what B/R had to say about Jenkins:
“This is arguably the easiest selection of any team. A.J. Jenkins produced absolutely nothing with the San Francisco 49ers. As a rookie, Jenkins was active for three games. He saw one target and didn’t record a catch. San Francisco quickly moved on from him, dealing the Illinois product to the Kansas City Chiefs for wideout Jonathan Baldwin in August 2013. A change of scenery can help—but not in this case. In Kansas City, Jenkins caught 17 passes for 223 yards in 2013 and 2014. Clearly, the 49ers reached for Jenkins after a standout senior year at Illinois (90 receptions, 1,276 yards and eight touchdowns). On a positive note, kudos to the front office for realizing its mistake and attempting to flip the wideout before his trade value completely tanked. Jenkins’ ineffective play in Kansas City underscored the 49ers’ miscue. He struggled with drops with the Dallas Cowboys during training camp in 2015. He was out of the league after his age-25 season.”
The Draft is always a bit of a crapshoot, but the Niners missed out on some talented pass catchers in 2012 such as Alshon Jeffery and T.Y. Hilton, who are still producing at this point of their careers.
John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan took over in 2017 and didn’t exactly hit home runs on either of their two first-round selections. While Solomon Thomas is still on the roster, his impact isn’t at the level of many of the players picked after him at No. 3. Lynch traded up to get linebacker Reuben Foster, who is no longer with the team after dealing with some off-field issues. Thank goodness the Niners have been able to find some late-round gems since Lynch and Shanahan came in, such as the beast George Kittle.
Looking back at the list, the 49ers have had 13 first-round picks since 2010, only five remain with the team: Jimmie Ward, Arik Armstead, Mike McGlinchey, Nick Bosa and Thomas.
How would you grade the Niners first-round picks over the last 10 years?
Onto some links:
2020 NFL Mock Draft (Bleacher Report)