The 49ers need to cut A.J. Jenkins. Or put it another way. If the 49ers are serious about putting the best team on the field Sept. 8 against Green Bay, Jenkins will not be part of the team.
This is nothing against Jenkins, the person. He is polite, a hard worker, a college graduate. He deserves a good life. But he doesn't deserve an NFL career, even though he was Trent Baalke's first pick in the 2012 draft, the 49ers' only first-rounder, simply a horrible pick. More about Baalke in a moment.
Jenkins is the worst wide receiver in 49ers' camp. Undrafted guys are better than he is. Guys you never heard of are better than he is. And he is the worst receiver for the second year in a row.
He caught no passes last season. You already know that. It's hardly what you expect from your marquee draft choice. Last Thursday against the Broncos, he caught a pass — hooray! — then a Broncos defender immediately stripped the ball from him, easy as pie.
On another pass, Jenkins allowed Chad Hall to run in front of him and make the catch. Jenkins looked like a center fielder letting the right fielder call him off a fly ball to center. He looked unsure of himself and, worst of all, he looked timid.
Watch Anquan Boldin. Watch Michael Crabtree when he returns to the team. They hunger for the ball. They move toward the ball like predators. You cannot stop them. Jenkins stops himself. On Sunday, offensive coordinator Greg Roman answered questions about Jenkins in a Q-and-A session with reporters. Look at Roman pussyfoot around the issue of Jenkins. And remember, in all other things 49ers, Roman is Mr. Accentuate the Positive.
<b>Why hasn't WR A.J. Jenkins been able to put it all together?</b>
"A.J.'s working hard. He had a couple plays the other night that he'd like to have back but he had some good plays. We're of the ilk that you come in after a game, you learn from it, you move on and you get better and that's what we're doing."
<b>It seems like just watching practices, he has his good plays but he also has plenty of not good plays. </b>
"I think A.J.'s out there competing hard. I think everybody has those plays. You got to bounce back from them. I think A.J. does a lot of really good things and he's just got to continue to work and get better day by day."
<b>What do you say he does best?</b>
<b>What does he do best?</b>
"I think there's a lot of things he does well, very well. I don't know that I'd pick one. He makes some spectacular catches. He's got big strong hands. Makes good catches. Is getting better with his route running. He's improving really in everything he does. It's just a matter of down-in down-out consistency. We all need to strive to be better day in and day out, play in and play out."
OK, what did we learn from that Q&A?
Jenkins works hard.
To which we say we expect him to work hard. Working hard is the least a player owes a team.
After that, Matt Maiocco asked what Jenkins does best. Roman responded with "Pardon?" It's like the question surprised him or was off color.