Friday, April 27, 2012

Niners Take Jenkins, but Not Janoris

If you followed our mock draft and most mock drafts from NFL sites, a lot of mocks had CB Janoris Jenkins going by pick 30 to the 49ers, including ours. And the 49ers did draft a Jenkins, but went with WR A.J. Jenkins out of Illinois, a projected 2nd-3rd round receiver, passing up sure-fire first rounders Stephen Hill and Reuben Randle.

A.J. Jenkins to 49ers
Now, this pick comes as a surprise on a number of levels. First off, the 49ers passed on the best remaining, and a guy a lot of scouts deem the most talented corner in this draft in Janoris Jenkins. I've watched video of Janoris the last few days hoping the 49ers would call his name, and have been nothing but impressed as he absolutely has his way with wideouts. Just YouTube "Jenkins vs. Alshon Jeffries", and you'll see what I'm talking about. The dude has shutdown corner written all over him, and despite off-field issues, apparently teams are rushing to move up in round two to get their hands on that talent. Unfortunately, it won't be the 49ers, as they took a very odd approach in this one. Many believe the 49ers could have traded down and gotten A.J. Jenkins Round 2 without a problem, but they apparently weren't joking when they said they had their eye on a specific player who they expected to last to pick 30. Now, I haven't said a word about A.J. yet, and I'll do so more as the draft carries on and we do our draft review, but obviously he's a talented wideout, and although I was thrown by the pick at first, I'm starting to warm up to it a little more. He had 1,200 receiving yards in 2011, granted 250 of those came in one game, and reminds some scouts of a Greg Jennings-type receiver. He can stretch the field with his 4.38 40-speed, and he's not tiny, standing at 6 foot, 195 pounds. He's the same size as Jennings and if you watch the video here, where he torched Northwestern for that 250-yard game. You'll notice he's got a knack for finding soft spots in zone coverage and can beat guys one-on-one. I like the player, but I don't think he was a first rounder and I believe the 49ers could have gotten him today in round 2 had they waited, and filled a real need with pick 30, like O-line, CB or more pass-rush (be it a D-End or another Smith-like OLB).

J. Jenkins Best Available?
Now, with day one in the books, the focus shifts to day 2, as the 49ers hold pick 29 in Round 2 and 3, assuming they don't trade. I'll list 10 guys still available that could fall to the 49ers in the 2nd, then a few in the 3rd, but I wanted to talk a little more about the new WR depth chart after this pick. After signing Randy Moss and Mario Manningham, re-signing Ted Ginn Jr. and already with Kyle Willaims and Michael Crabtree, now drafting Jenkins, somewhat clogs that wideout group a little bit. That said, the 49ers have been said to maybe taking offers for Crabtree, and it's quite possible they could deal him for an extra 2nd round pick if they found the right partner. I know Dallas loves him, and they didn't get a WR in round one, so they may be a team to look to, but this now gives the 49ers 4 wideouts (Crabtree, Moss, Manningham and Jenkins) who will want the ball, then there's Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker as well to think about, and the 49ers have gone from having limited offensive weapons to being over-loaded with them. Anyway, here are 10 names to keep an eye on as Round 2 kicks off this evening:

CB Janoris Jenkins- UNA (If the 49ers got a 2nd shot, they better take it, even if it means trading up!)
G Cordy Glenn- Georgia (There are still 1st round O-lineman left for round 2, he's one)
G Amini Silatolu- Midwestern St. (Another big talent, though a D-2 player)
G Brandon Washington- Miami (Same as other two guards, 49ers have a need here)
G Kelechi Osemele- Iowa State (See other guards, a potential starter at position of need)
CB Chase Minnifield- Virginia (Not as talented as Jenkins, but rarely challenged at UVA)
LB Courtney Upshaw- Alabama (49ers love linebackers who can get after the passer)
DE Jared Crick- Nebraska (A true down D-End, who can play in the 3-4)
DT Brandon Thompson- Clemson (Another talented big body for the D-line depth)
DT Alameda Ta'amu- Washington (NFP's 13th best prospect in draft, 340-pound, athletic DT)

We'll be back later to talk about who they actually do pick, as if Baalke and Harbough stick to script, will likely be a guy no body is expecting!

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