SANTA CLARA — A.J. Jenkins no longer is in a San Francisco 49ers uniform after being dealt to Kansas City. Coach Jim Harbaugh is still coming to the defense of his former receiver.
Harbaugh took the opportunity Wednesday to again criticize those who delivered a negative take on Jenkins, the 2012 first-round pick who underachieved in his one-plus season with San Francisco.
Asked a question Wednesday about Jon Baldwin, the receiver the 49ers acquired from the Chiefs on Monday for Jenkins, Harbaugh weaved Jenkins into the discussion unsolicited.
"I don't think it's fair to bully or label a young player, though I fully understand that people are entitled to their opinion and perspective," Harbaugh said. "However, I prefer the criticism — I'd appreciate if the criticism — is directed toward me. I'm responsible, and I certainly accept it. Actually, welcome it."
Jenkins, the 30th overall pick in 2012, appeared in just three games last season and didn't make a single catch. With the Achilles tendon injury to No. 1 receiver Michael Crabtree, he was viewed as a leading candidate to start this season opposite Anquan Boldin.