During the 2012 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers drafted Illinois wide receiver A.J. Jenkins with the 30th overall pick. Jenkins’ rookie season was uneventful to say the least as he only played in 37 snaps and was targeted once, which he dropped. However, with Michael Crabtree out with a torn Achilles and Mario Manningham working his way back from a torn ACL, Jenkins is looking to begin his sophomore season right.
In fact, Jenkins is beginning his sophomore season by impressing head coach Jim Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman.
“[I] thought A.J. had his best week of football since he’s been a 49er the last four days of OTAs, which was the last week of OTAs, and he continues to build on that,” Harbaugh said, via Grant Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
“I think anybody that’s gone from Year 1 to Year 2, there’s a great window of opportunity to improve in a fashion that you’ll never have again in your career. You’re going from doing things for the first time to everything you, do you’ve already done it. Big strides can be made that way.”
With the injuries of Manningham and Crabtree, one of younger wide receivers will have to step up into the number two position. During the last few weeks, that player has been A.J. Jenkins.
“A.J., I thought the last two days of last week had the best days he’s had since I’ve been here,” Roman said. “Quinton Patton and Ricardo Lockette, they’re all stepping up. It’s going to be a continuing process. We’re trying to get these guys ready for training camp, to come in and compete and win a job.”
49ers fans will have to hope that Jenkins can step into the number two role and eventually become the teams star wide out.