Found May 13, 2012 on
San Francisco 49ers
Illinois Fighting Illini
The San Francisco 49ers had a chance to fill some holes in this draft but reached too often and failed to add any instant-impact players. It was a disappointing haul for a team hoping to make another deep playoff run in 2012.
A.J. Jenkins is a talented receiver but was a huge reach in the late 1st round. He put together a solid 2011 season, but has always been inconsistent and had a history of clashing with his coaches at Illinois. Ron Zook openly criticized his attitude on multiple occasions. It will be interesting to see how he gets along with Jim Harbaugh, who isn’t the type to put up with diva receivers.
LaMichael James is a dangerous weapon, but this was too early for a player who projects as a career backup with character and injury concerns. He’ll have to compete with Kendall Hunter and Brandon Jacobs for carries behind Frank Gore, and could legitimately end up as the 4th-string running back.
Joe Looney was a solid value in the 4th round. He’ll have a chance to compete for the starting job at right guard.
Darius Fleming will compete for a backup job at outside linebacker behind Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith.
Trent Robinson could be a steal in the 6th round. He’s a prototypical free safety who could compete for playing time if Dashon Goldson continues to struggle in coverage as he has the past few years.
Jason Slowey is a developmental prospect who will be groomed to potentially replace 33-year-old Jonathan Goodwin in a few years.
I love the selection of Cam Johnson. He’s had a history of injuries which likely led to his fall, but could be one of the better steals of this class. If healthy, he’s a better prospect than Darius Fleming.
The 49ers whiffed with their first two picks. Even if Jenkins develops into a quality receiver, they missed an opportunity to add someone who could make a more immediate impact. But while their early picks were disappointing, they did find some value in the later rounds which could allow them to salvage something from this draft class.
BEST OF MAXIM
SAN FRANCISCO– The 49ers bewildered the football community when they chose wide receiver A.J. Jenkins in the first round. Jenkins was taken off the board before higher ranked names such as Stephen Hill and many others.
Jenkins was brought in to be that top flight speedster that could become a consistent deep threat.
Now the only problem is that he may not be in shape.
Quarterback – Alex Smith: In 2011 Alex Smith went from being forever heralded as one of the biggest draft busts in recent history to a solid starting quarterback.
In 2012, the 49ers hope Smith can take this rapid transformation to the next level. With all they’ve done to improve at wide receiver this offseason, Smith has no excuse not to put up big passing numbers next...
When a team plays as well as the San Francisco 49ers did last season, usually the quarterback gets a lot of credit for that and quarterback Alex Smith was rightfully deserving of the credit. Smith guided the 49ers to a 13-3 regular season record and nearly led them to the Super Bowl. When you dig deeper into the 49ers' passing statistics though, you start to get a very different...
San Francisco 49ers 1st-round pick A.J. Jenkins took some heat last week when Jim Harbaugh criticized his conditioning on the first day of rookie camp. But according to 49ers defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga, Jenkins is in better shape than Aldon Smith was when he first reported to camp in 2011.
Sopoaga had this to say to the San Francisco Chronicle about Smith’s debut:
Round 1 (30thOverall)
A.J. Jenkins, Wide Receiver, Illinois
Jenkins was projected to go in the second round by the majority of scouts. While many would view at this as an indictment of the pick, I certainly do not. Jenkins is an explosive receiver with top-end speed. He may not be the best route runner out there, but the 49ers had more of a need for a burner than a possession...
The 49ers have had a very interesting offseason. Not content to rest on their laurels, they have added some serious explosiveness to their offense through free agency. Their draft strategy was no different. While the 49ers certainly made some surprising picks and maybe a few reaches here and there, they had a successful draft overall because they added to dynamic playmakers in A...
San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh has indicated that quarterback Alex Smith has made ”dramatic improvements” in his throwing motion this offseason. His improvement is due to a visit that he made to motion specialist Tom House.
“Alex was using his head where he’d have a late posture change to get his release point accurate,” said House, whose a former major...