Draft Scout Snapshot: A closer look at the 49ers' picks: Round 1/30 -- A.J. Jenkins, WR, 6-0, 190, Illinois...Jenkins caught 90 passes last year, nearly half of starting quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase's completions. BEST PICK Wide receiver A.J. Jenkins: Their best pick may be their first. While the team is stacked with receivers, Jenkins is the only one, other than former first-round choice Michael Crabtree, who could be a future No. 1 receiver. So far, Crabtree has been a disappointment as the receiving bell cow and his disappearance in the playoffs did not help him. Jenkins appears to be what Crabtree is not and that's a gym rat who will make time to put in extra work with quarterback Alex Smith. - The Sports Xchange
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Jenkins, who was also recruited by Florida, Florida State, Miami and South Carolina, was one of the more heralded recruits brought to Illinois by Ron Zook.
He saw immediate action in 2008 as a true freshman, playing in all 12 games, including one start (11-287-3). He started three games in 2009 as a sophomore, but saw his production drop a bit (10-123-1), missing two games with a knee injury. Jenkins started nine games in 2010 and finished as the team's leading receiver (56-749-7). However, he really emerged in 2011 as a senior, posting team-highs in every receiving category, including a Big Ten-best 84 receptions for 1,196 yards and 7 TDs.
Jenkins isn't a burner or consistent vertical threat, but he plays fast and with a degree of confidence. He is more quick than fast and covers a lot of ground in the short half of the field and is slippery after the catch. He has a lanky frame and will be overmatched physically by most cornerbacks in the NFL, but should be a solid underneath option.
Jenkins doesn't appear to have the strength or natural speed to hold up on the outside as a pro, but could develop into a solid No. 3 or 4 for a team if he becomes more disciplined as a route-runner and devotes himself to the game of football.
Strengths: Jenkins is a balanced athlete with good body control and hand/eye coordination. He plays fast and can create after the catch. Jenkins does a nice job finding soft spots in zone coverage and will immediately turn upfield after the reception. He catches the ball with his large, soft hands and is tough, showing the ability to hold onto the ball after a big hit. Jenkins is a much improved route-runner with sharp moves in/out of his breaks and good field awareness. He uses his body movements to sell routes and makes plays at all levels of the field. Jenkins has a very good feel in coverage and has deceptive jets to gain a step and track the deep ball downfield. He put together a strong senior resume, leading the Big Ten in catches (84) and emerged as Illinois' go-to option through the air - producing at least four catches in every game in 2011 and set a new single game school record with 268 receiving yards (vs. Northwestern, 10/1/11).
Weaknesses: Jenkins has only average size with a narrow body type and a lean, lanky frame. He needs to spend more time in the weight room and get stronger. Jenkins' lack of strength has been exposed in a few jump-ball situations and he needs to be more competitive in tight coverage. He tends to round off some patterns and will get lazy in this area, choosing instead to abandon his routes and freelance at times. Jenkins will hold the ball too loose from his body and needs to improve his ball security and cut down on fumbles. He will try and make body catches at times, which will lead to drops. Jenkins has some experience as a kick returner, but isn't overly effective or reliable in this area. The Florida native has struggled in poor weather games, especially snow. He got into a few spats with former head coach Ron Zook and the rest of the Illinois coaching staff, so pre-draft interviews will be crucial to answering any effort or character concerns.
NFL Comparison: Brandon Lloyd, Rams: Jenkins has similar build and playing style as the former Illini, but not the same type of ball skills and polish.
-- Dane Brugler
Biletnikoff Award Semifinalist... First-Team All-Big Ten (coaches / media)... First-Team All-Big Ten (Phil Steele)... CFPA National Wide Receiver of the Week (10/10)... Big Ten co-Offensive Player of the Week (10/3)... CFPA National Wide Receiver of the Week (10/3)...Ranked 14th nationally in receiving yards per game (99.67)... Tied for 16th nationally and leads the Big Ten in catches per game (7.0) ... Led the Big Ten in conference games in receptions per game and receiving yards per game ... Caught four passes for 30 yards against Minnesota ... Caught four passes for 33 yards and rushed for 13 yards on three carries against Wisconsin ... Recorded fifth 100-yard receiving game of the season against Michigan with 103 yards on a game-high eight catches ... His eight catches against the Wolverines gives him 76 on the season, fourth on Illinois’ single season list ... Caught six passes for 43 yards against Penn State, making him the seventh receiver in school history to top the 1,000-yard milestone ... Caught eight passes for 92 yards against Purdue ... Had eight catches for 80 yards against Ohio State ... Had 450 receiving yards combined against Northwestern and Indiana, the most in consecutive games in Big Ten history ... Caught six passes for 182 yards and two TDs at Indiana, marking his fourth 100-yard receiving game this season and seventh of his career ... Posted a school-record 268 receiving yards on a career-high 12 receptions, including a school record-tying three touchdowns, against Northwestern ...Receiving total against the Wildcats was third-highest in a Big Ten game in conference history ... Caught a team-high six passes for 103 yards, including the game-winning TD, against Arizona State ... Caught 11 passes for 148 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown, in season-opener against Arkansas State, breaking the UI record for receiving yards in an opener.
Played in all 13 games, starting nine ... Led the team with 56 catches, 746 receiving yards and seven receiving touchdowns in 2010 ... Finished sixth in the Big Ten in receptions per game (4.31) ... Named the team's Most Outstanding Receiver at the annual postseason banquet ... Recorded six receptions for 52 yards in Texas Bowl win over Baylor ... Led team with six receptions for 75 yards, including a 23-yard TD catch, at Fresno State ... Had four receptions for 24 yards and one TD in win over Northwestern ... Posted a team-and career-best 137 yards on six receptions and one TD against Minnesota ... Led team with four receptions for 46 yards, including a 17-yard TD catch, in victory over Purdue ... Led team with seven receptions for 76 yards and one TD in win at Penn State ... Recorded a team-high five receptions for 114 yards, including a 54-yard TD catch that equaled the longest reception of his career, in win over Southern Illinois ... Led team with 33 receiving yards on three catches, including one touchdown, in season opener against Missouri ... Academic All-Big Ten honoree ... Named co-Most Improved Offensive Player during 2010 spring drills.
Played in eight games, starting in three ... Had 10 catches for 123 yards and one touchdown on the season ... Missed the Northwestern and Minnesota games with a knee injury ... Posted seasaon-best four catches for 77 yards against Indiana ... Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
Played in all 12 games and started one at wide receiver as a true freshman ... Had 11 catches for 287 yards (23.9 ypc) and three touchdowns and also returned 22 kickoffs for 490 yards (22.3 ypr) and a TD on the season ... Ranked 10th in the Big Ten in kick returns with a 22.3 average per return ... Caught a career-long 54-yard pass against Western Michigan ... Caught three passes for 61 yards at Wisconsin, including a 27-yard TD?reception ... Had a 96-yard kickoff return touchdown against Indiana, the fifth-longest in school history ... Had a career game against Minnesota, catching three passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns, including a 54-yard TD reception ... Caught the first pass of his career at Michigan ... Saw the first action of his career against Missouri, returning a kickoff for 25 yards.
2009: Missed two games with a knee injury.
Four-star recruit according to Scout.com ... Named to the Atlanta Journal Constitution's Super Southern 100 as the 10th-best wide receiver ... PrepStar All-Region ... SuperPrep All-American ... Rated the No. 36 wide receiver nationally by Scout.com ... Caught 41 passes for 515 yards, scoring four touchdowns as a senior ... Also rushed for another 251 yards on 40 carries in 2007 ... Florida Times Union Super 24 ... Named to Scout's Florida Top-50 team ... Ranked the 59th-best recruit in the state of Florida by Rivals.com ... Rated the No. 53 wide receiver nationally by Rivals.com ... Finished his junior year with 32 catches for 500 yards ... Has a 38-inch vertical leap ... Chose Illinois over Florida, South Carolina, Miami, Georgia Tech and Florida State ... High school coach was Greg Stanton.
Son of Sandra Brice and Alfred Jenkins Jr. ... Full name is Alfred Alonzo Jenkins ... Born Sept. 30, 1989.
Draft Scout Player News
01/20/13 - A day after WR Chad Hall was promoted from the practice squad, he appeared against Atlanta. The team's first-round pick, WR A.J. Jenkins, did not. It's clear the staff does not believe Jenkins can be a meaningful contributor -- at least not this year.
01/06/13 - WR A.J. Jenkins will continue to see extended playing time due to injuries to Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams. Jenkins was wide open when he received the first target of his career, but he dropped it. The play doesn't inspire much confidence moving forward. Regardless, he'll factor heavily into the game plan as the No. 3 receiver behind Michael Crabtree and Randy Moss.
12/31/12 - WR A.J. Jenkins received the first target of his career on Sunday against Arizona, but it ended with a drop on what appeared to be a relatively easy play. Jenkins had no one around him and had room to run. Without receivers Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams for the playoffs, Jenkins' development could prove essential.
"Yes. Do I think he can (develop)? Yes," Harbaugh said. "Will we need him to? Yes. We need him to step up and we definitely think he's capable of doing that."
12/27/12 - WR Michael Jenkins had a big game the last time the Vikings played the Packers at the Metrodome. How big? So big that he finished with a career-high 111 yards receiving and a touchdown. The Vikings' first play from scrimmage was a 72-yard pass down the left sideline to Jenkins to the 1-yard line.
12/24/12 - WR A.J. Jenkins should be active against the Cardinals and throughout the playoffs with WR Mario Manningham (knee) likely out for the year. The team's first-round pick still has not made a catch this season and has been active on just three occasions.