Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 4/26/12

The 49ers have a championship-caliber defense. Now they're throwing as many darts as possible trying to bring the offense up to snuff.

San Francisco pulled a surprise with the selection of Illinois wide receiver A.J. Jenkins with the No. 30 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. At No. 58 overall, he was the lowest-rated prospect by NFLDraftScout.com to go in the first round.

He joins a receiving corps that was addressed in free agency with the signings of Randy Moss and Mario Manningham to go along with Michael Crabtree, Kyle Williams and Ted Ginn Jr. But in the 6-foot, 190-pound Jenkins, the 49ers land a vertical threat who is built like former Illinois and 49ers wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, but not as polished.

Jenkins, the No. 7-rated wideout by NFLDraftScout.com, was the fourth one off the board, following Justin Blackmon (No. 5, Jacksonville), Michael Floyd (No. 13, Arizona) and Kendall Wright (No. 20, Tennessee). He ran a blistering 4.39-second 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in February to go along with a 38.5-inch vertical and a 10'4" broad jump.

That debunked the belief of some NFL scouts that Jenkins was more quick than fast, although gaining separation off the line of scrimmage will be one of the main concerns. Jenkins has a slight frame and lifted 225 pounds just 12 times. But the threat of his speed could force safeties to be more concerned with the vertical passing game and help open more holes for the ground game -- which was the primary reason Moss was also brought in.

Jenkins was a highly sought after high school star from Jacksonville, Fla., who was also recruited by Florida, Florida State, Miami and South Carolina. He was considered a coup for former Illinois coach Ron Zook, and Jenkins played in all 12 games as a true freshman.

He was slowed a bit by a knee injury the next season before emerging as Illinois' leading receiver in 2010. Last season was his breakout year, however, as Jenkins led the Big Ten with 84 catches for 1,196 yards and seven touchdowns.

In Jenkins, NFL scouts see a balanced athlete with good body control and hand-eye coordination who can rip off yards after the catch. While he's not big, Jenkins has proven he isn't afraid to take a hit, although he can struggle to bring balls down in traffic. Like most college receivers, he also needs to work on his route-running and not rounding off his cuts.

The 49ers currently have six more picks in this draft, including the 29th selection (No. 61 overall) in the second round Friday. They have yet to make any deals involving their draft selections, and have exactly one choice in each of the remaining rounds.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Logan Morrison curses out umpire CB Bucknor mid at-bat

Raptors jab Bucks on Twitter after Game 4 victory

Report: NBA GMs not hesitant to draft Lonzo Ball due to father LaVar

DeShone Kizer changes course, stands by Tom Brady-Cam Newton quote

Nick Saban doesn't offer much praise of team for 'adequate' spring game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dennis Schroder admits Mike Budenholzer wants him to avoid trash talk

WATCH: Miguel Sano throws punch as benches clear in Twins-Tigers game

Glen Coffee making NFL comeback after four years in Army, seven years away from game

Fan wears Clemson championship gear to Alabama spring game

NBA reportedly investigating incident involving Patrick Beverley, Thunder fan

Blake Griffin out for the season with toe injury; how screwed are the Clippers?

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Best of Yardbarker: David Fizdale and the Grizzlies won't go down quietly

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

25 times Mother Nature disrupted sports

In some ways, Dan Rooney was just another NFL owner

Box Score 4/20: When Westbrook isn't enough

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The '♫Happy Birthday Simpsons. Simpsons, it's your birthday♫' quiz

White House championship visits over the years

Biggest needs in the draft for every NFL team

The 'Baseball has been very, very good to its players' quiz

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

In some ways, Dan Rooney was just another NFL owner

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The '♫Happy Birthday Simpsons. Simpsons, it's your birthday♫' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: David Fizdale calls B.S.

Kris Bryant can become the next Derek Jeter — and more

The 'Baseball has been very, very good to its players' quiz

NHL youth movement: How the 2016-17 rookie class fared

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker