49ers wide receiver A.J. Jenkins should be ... ?

Leading Off: 49ers may want to pass on Jenkins

Published: Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Friday, Aug. 16, 2013 - 7:33 am

General manager Trent Baalke has had the Midas touch since taking over draft-day responsibilities for the 49ers three years ago.

In 2010, he used first-round picks to draft starting offensive linemen Mike Iupati and Anthony Davis, and then took linebacker NaVorro Bowman in the third round.

In 2011, his first three picks were outside linebacker Aldon Smith, quarterback Colin Kaepernick and cornerback Chris Culliver.

In 2012, his top two picks were wide receiver A.J. Jenkins and running back LaMichael James.

OK, so nobody's perfect.

Jenkins appears to be a bust entering his second season with the 49ers. He played in three games as a rookie and didn't make a catch.

This summer, the team is bending over backward to give Jenkins every chance to succeed, giving him 39 snaps in the preseason opener – 11 more than any other receiver. He caught one pass and then fumbled the ball.

Daily reports out of Santa Clara indicate that the receivers competing for the 49ers' No. 2 starting job opposite Anquan Boldin – Marlon Moore, Austin Collie, Kassim Osgood, Chad Hall and Ricardo Lockette – are playing at a more consistent and higher level than Jenkins.

Baalke has a much higher batting average than most NFL GMs when it comes to successful draft picks, and nobody will hold Jenkins' failure against him.

But keeping Jenkins on the opening-day roster and cutting a better player just to save face could prove to be a bigger mistake than picking a first-round bust in the first place.

What to watch

Little League, World Series, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., ESPN, ESPN2: The game of baseball in its purest form – we hope.

Today's poll

49ers wide receiver A.J. Jenkins should be … ?

• Starting for the team

• A backup for the team

• Cut by the team

Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or go to www.sacbee.com/sports

Wednesday's results

Will Brandon Belt ever be a consistent hitter for the Giants?

• Yes: 50%

• No: 50%

Total votes: 121

Call The Bee's Victor Contreras, (916) 326-5527. Follow him on Twitter @SacBeeVictor.

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