Round 1 Pick 30th Overall - AJ Jenkins(6'0" 190 lbs) WR, Illinois
AJ Jenkins is a smooth route runner who has above average top-end speed running the 40 yard dash in 4.39 secs. More importantly is that Jenkins has good body control and maintains his speed while getting in and out of his breaks. Jenkins has good concentration and natural catching ability always hauling the ball in with his hands and has ran multiple routes from the X, Z, and slot positions during his tenure at Illinois. He was the focal point of Illinois offense in the passing game catching 40% of all thrown passess in the 2011 season. (For reference, Justin Blackmon and Colby Fleener caught 28% of all thrown passes in 2011) Jenkins also caught more than 55% of all the TD passes delivered in the 2011 season.
AJ Jenkins wears down during the game resulting in loss of effort. He also does not play the jump ball as intelligently as desired in a 1st rounder. Jenkins is not known to be a physical receiver, in fact he played more like a possession receiver. Jenkins small frame will not intimidate defenses.
Best Available Player at pick 30
The best available player at pick #30 would have been Peter Konz, Center from Wisconsin.
Best Available Receiver at pick 30
The best available receiver at pick #30 would have been Coby Fleener, TE from Stanford.
Similar Combine Results
Round 2 Pick 61st Overall - LaMichael James (5'8" 194 lbs) RB, Oregon
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LaMichael James is an explosive play maker at the running back position but can split out as an additional receiver and cause mismatches with linebackers. James is the best 2-cut running back since Jahvid Best, where his skill sets are most effective in space. For a running back his size, James is a shifty rusher in between the tackles. James is undersized even for a running back, but for what he lacks in size, he makes up for in toughness. Throughout his career, James averaged 257 carries, 1694 rush yards, 17 TDs each season over three seasons at Oregon. The amazing note about his production is that they were level all 3 years. James' explosiveness also provides value in the return game.
As with all small running backs, LaMichael James will struggle with staying healthy at the professional level. James' size will also limit his blocking effectiveness. He is not an all purpose back.
Best Available Player at pick 61
The best available player at pick #61 would have been Brandon Thompson, Defensive Tackle from Clemson.
Best Available Running Back at pick 61
The best available shifty running back at pick #61 would have been LaMichael James, RB from Oregon.
The best available bruiser running back at pick #61 would have been Bernard Pierce, RB from Temple.
Similar Combine Results
Round 3 Pick 92nd Overall - Traded
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The results of trading this only pick led to the following draft picks:
3rd Round in 2013 (from Carolina Panthers)
5th Round in 2013 (from Indinapolis Colts)
6th Round in 2013 (from Miami Dolphins)
6th Round 180 Overall in 2012 (from Carolina Panthers)
Best Available Player at 92 Overall
The best available player at pick #92 would have been Brandon Thompson, Defensive Tackle from Clemson.
Round 4 Pick 117th Overall - Joe Looney (6'3" 309 lbs) G, Wake Forest
Joe Looney's best attributes is his ability to get to the 2nd level, identify linebackers, and become an obstacle for defenders. He has excellent quickness and is nimble for a guy his size. Looney has also displayed the ability to fight off stunts. He has good upper body power tossing blitzing defensive linemans to his fellow linemans in order to pass protect. His best fit will be in a zone blocking scheme.
Looney does not have very good technique in run or pass protection. As a run blocker, Looney lacks the drive in his legs to gain ground at the line of scrimmage. Looney also doesn't have the power at the point of impact to dominate his opposition. At the 2nd level, Looney has a tendency to wrap up his opposition rather than knocking them down or stonewalling the defenders. As a pass blocker, Looney allows too many pass rushers to get underneathe his chest. His hand placement needs to be better all around, especially when blocking smaller pass rushers.
Best Available Player at pick 117
The best available player at pick #117 would have been Josh Chapman, Defensive Tackle from Alabama.
Best Available Guard at pick 117
The best available guard at pick #117 would have been Senio Kelemete, Guard from Washington.
By: Kevin Tapp
Date: June 12, 2012 at 6:07 PM
Comment: I see you saying in the comments that Jenkins was a reach at a non needed position. Obviously some teams didn't feel he was a reach, and some had him as the second best reciever in this draft. Secondly, Wide reciever was just as much of a need position as any on the team other then maybe guard. Randy Moss is 36 years old, Crabtree may show this year or next whether we should give him an extension in coming years, and manningham is a slot reicever on a small deal, so we definitely needed a top rookie to come in, and they obviously felt like he was a better pick then a couple 2nd and 3rd round guards who were over rated by many mock drafts over the off season.
Date: June 6, 2012 at 3:21 PM
Comment: I think that you need to proof read your own post. You have the BPA at 61 and 92 as Brandon Thompson DT Clemson. You must have him overrated because 32 other teams passed him over past pick 61 to still be on the board at pick 92, then he fell to the 4th round.
Konz- I think you need to pick up Bill Walsh book on the Winning Edge. You do not draft OL outside of blind side tackle in round 1. Konz would have compounded how many high draft picks are on this OL. Better qb, rb, WR, TE play make the OL better.
The scouts obviously looked at Kelemete and did not feel he warranted the pick. Looney had one of the top interviews per Harbaugh, and obviously they feel he has more upside in their system than Kelemete.
This is all master of the obvious stuff, but worth pointing out.
Date: May 23, 2012 at 4:04 PM
Comment: Many good points were made in the article and the comments. I do agree with the Konz BPA assessment. He's a perennial Pro Bowler at C. Agree we should have taken Janoris instead of AJ too. I will have to say as many have already that I have faith in BalkaBough combo. In the past we've missed on so many talents that sitting on my couch I knew/felt were better picks such as Carl Nicks, Desean Jackson & Calais Cambell just to name few. Forty Niner Faithful.....RRRRRrrrrrriiiiiise!
By: AZ 9er
Date: May 22, 2012 at 8:41 PM
Comment: I think you did a great job. Honest analysis. You can't be blinded. The team can do no wrong. Everyone make mistakes. Some picks won't pan out. 5-6 rounder might not make the team. We were lucky last year. A lot of picks were keepers. Is it because we didn't have a lot backup of talent. Its going to be harder to find keepers. Too similar in talent level. You win with a few great players and a lot of good players. Jenkins was a surprise pick since we already sign Moss and Manningham. LaMichael was also a surprise since we have Hunter. Trading our 3rd for more 4th, 5th and 6th was a surprise too. A lot of picks don't help if the talent drops of after the 1st 4 rounds. There aren't that many diamonds in the rough, missed by everyone in the internet age...
Date: May 9, 2012 at 1:51 PM
Comment: 1994 #33 pick - LA Rams:
Issac Bruce: 6'0" 188 lbs
"great route runner, great speed, great hands"
Date: May 6, 2012 at 4:49 PM
Comment: we now have a deep wr core and we probabaly have the Fastest out of all 32 teams. We probably drafted the smothest route runner besides Blackmon in the draft. 1st rounders do need training and work just like others so he will hit the weight room. SF the only team where all of our picks avrg a number of 32 starts and got 13 picks for next year. AS actually has one of the best deep balls in the league. last year the only reciever that was fast enough to catch them where Davis, Williams, & Ginn (concrete Hands). Now we got recievers that are fast enough to get that deep ball. I beleive we suit up 6 recievers and 2 make the PS. Moss, Crabtree, Maningham, Jenkins, Williams & Ginn. P.S. Owusu and Tymes (6,3 frame runs a 4.4 and 10." vertical Jump). He didnt draft fleener cause he know he's not better than Davis, he cant play H back like Walker. He wants fleener to go to a team where he's #1. He wanted his Boy Luck to have a better chance at success. Dont think he still dont love his ex cardinals like he loves his current niners. If you want to see what I think will be our 53 man roster/ 8 man PS. I'll post it.
Date: May 3, 2012 at 3:37 PM
Comment: "I really could care less how much Konz bench presses as long as it is more than 1 digit. "
Don't care that u don't care. Obviously, NFL teams cared. Oh, they also cared about his injury prone college career which u failed to mention. I think what u did was look at previous mock drafts by media 'experts' and hopped on the bandwagon without looking at the full due diligence that real NFL GM's do.
Date: May 3, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Comment: Irrespective of your apparently conscientious analysis, Baalke and Harbaugh's own record of successful draft selections is a proven commodity. As such, it'd be interesting to look over your verifiable commentary on last year's selections.
By: Niner Nate
Date: May 3, 2012 at 11:22 AM
Comment: I appreciate the work and analysis. I believe Harbaugh and Baalke partially drafted based on thier own variables but, also based on an expanded playbook for the 2012 season and forward. You mention "missmatch nightmares", but I think you are wrong. WCO is based on timing routes not missmatches. A WR that runs a precise and quick route will be open not because of the missmatch. I believe the plays will be designed to take advantage of missmatches when available but, to draft for missmatches is insane because there will never be one player that consistently mismatches the rest of the NFL. Niners got the best player for their current and future system. I'd put more analysis into predicting that system and seeing how these players fit rather than a trditional "best player" avail analysis which assumes all teams require a general type of player. Good work.
Date: May 3, 2012 at 9:32 AM
Comment: Has Baalke-Harbaugh done anything to make you question these picks? Do you understand the WCO? I really wanted Fleener myself as I thought and still do that he would of helped solved the red zone problems. Jenkins reminds me of the potential of what John Taylor brought to the team. James reminds me of the potential of Wyndel Tyler brought to the team. Trading picks and subplanting next year draft is what good teams do. Looney is an interesting pick. I dont know enough about Looney to debate him however Baalke and Harbaugh so far have been very very good to this point on choosing players to help the team. It is irrelevant what might be a reach or what others consider where a player should be drafted. I could never understand that premise, I dont care if its the 500th rated player if that player selected at number 1 is a player that can help the team then thats all that needs to be said. Till Baalke and Harbaugh start amassing failures then who am I to question.
Date: May 3, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Comment: Peter Konz has had two blood clots in his lungs and has missed games because of them. The Niners doctors might not have cleared him. The coaching staff obviously feels that A.J fits extremely well into the teams system. Reuben Randle isn't an explosive player and is more of a possession receiver than Jenkins is. A.J had to deal with some pretty shady quarterback play to. BTW A.J wouldn't have been available in the third or even second as the Rams had targeted him at the beginning of the second round.
By: Jesse sapolu
Date: May 2, 2012 at 10:24 PM
Comment: Curious about your bpa assessment. Please name your top 117 players as I would like to see your list that supports your bpa assessment. Aj Jenkins will be our welker/Cruz/Stevie j/Holmes type player. Lmj will be our mccluster/sproles/Dunn type player. Looney hopefully will develop into a serviceable interior linemen but as a 4th round pick, it's okay if he doesn't
Date: May 2, 2012 at 5:51 PM
Comment: I certainly understand and appreciate your writing, as for Jenkins I disagree value in leadership does not do enough to show the instrinsic value to performance on field all picks were made with intangibles in mind so I certainly all picks will pan out and pan out well, don't you feel we a need a shutdown corner either at 1 or 2, it kills me that's the giants did just that, exploit us 1 on 1 on the outside, do a corner I felt was a need we didn't address but all in all good job, both by harbaugbaalke and yourself to cover any negatives weve missed.
Date: May 2, 2012 at 4:15 PM
Comment: It's true, Jenkins isn't the biggest or toughest WR, which is why the Niners will make him stronger. However, he's an accomplished route runner, a vital part of any WCO and certainly Harbaugh's. He does have excellent speed, and will stretch defenses. I thought Harbaugh would grab Fleener, but obviously he and Baalke saw too many positives in Jenkins to pass on him. As for James, I can easily understand why Harbaugh wanted him...he couldn't beat him while at Stanford. Like Jenkins, he brings much-needed speed to the offense. Lastly, I think you underrate Looney...oh, I'm sure he needs work, just like about any other OL drafted into the NFL. But, he's a big, nasty OG who had an eye-popping number of knockdown blocks at WF. For sure, that number will drop in the NFL...but, it also shows he's a tough SOB, which is exactly what will jump-start the run game. Walter (of Walter's Football) thinks he's a sleeper pick...that is, he's better now than many think and has the potential to become a beast at OG. I agree. Of course, only time will tell, but I like the pick.
By: Zach Ameen
Date: May 2, 2012 at 4:13 PM
Comment: @ longtime49erfan. Well in last many years I made many predictions about draft choices and 90 percent of a time I was correct. I knew from the day one that we made a mistake when we didn't draft Rogers, I knew Alex is a 14 points max per game QB, I knew taylor Mays was a bad pick, we picked overrated Crabtree over Brian orkapo and Mike wallace, I knew chalo rachel will not be a good pick. the only time GM proved me wrong when he picked Aldon Smith; it is still remain to be seen that how would he perform when justin smith is not around. Answer to your Question... Yes I am better then GM when it comes to picking the best players.
Date: May 2, 2012 at 3:07 PM
Comment: AJ Jenkins was drafted for one reason, and one reason only - he had a terrible qb in college and he still produced. Why is that significant? Because Jenkins now has a terrible qb in the pros. He's Charles Barkley "Turrr-ble." Jenkins won't cry like Crabtree.
Date: May 2, 2012 at 2:22 PM
Comment: I find it funny that so many comments stem from misreading your statements or accusing you of criticizing the Harbaugh regime.
I think you've done an excellent job of giving us a baseline to measure against a few years from now. Great article and thanks for the effort!
Date: May 2, 2012 at 1:14 PM
Comment: Best palyer available was Peter Konz? Lost credibility right there. Konz has been injury prone and could manage only 18 reps on the bench press. What a joke
Date: May 2, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Comment: I'm just glad that Balke is the GM and that Harbaugh is our coach. The youtube film watching must provide more experience and knowledge than Harbaugh's years of playing and coaching I guess, since he coached and recruited Fleener and still took Jenkins.
Date: May 2, 2012 at 12:07 PM
Comment: "BTW, how many explosive WRs do we already have on our squad? Last time I checked Moss is the most likely to be a hall of famer. Ginn is still the faster player on the team. We don't need speed, we need mismatch nightmares. Jenkins at 6'0" is no intimidating figure. I gave him his dues in my article, but he was a reach. "
Really?!?! You want Ginn as a dependable receiver? You don't think Victor Cruz was intimidating with his speed this past season? And Moss may be a future hall of famer... but how about we see what he has left in the tank before we make him our savior. deal?
By: Impurvious Short
Date: May 2, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Comment: Hey Bee, Nice Read. In your evaluation did the Niners do better trading out of the third round or would they have been better off making the pick?
I think your take on Jenkins holds him to an unreasonable standard. You say he wears down in games yet he accounts for 40% of the teams offense and more than half of the teams touchdowns I'd be curious to see how Blackmon, or Fleener would hold up under that kind of work load.
Also any film study omits a critical component of the draft which is character and work ethic. As a life long underachiever, I can attest that talent is no guarantee of success.
Lastly, hats off for a great conversation starter keep up the excellent work.
Date: May 2, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Comment: Seriously? This is the same site that posted the article about having faith in Baalke? Sorry Bee Vue or whoever was responsible for this but I think Harbaugh and Baalke have a better idea than you of who the best players available were. I know everyone had a draft crush on Fleener but come on. We already have two great blocking tight ends, something Coby can't do, and who can also make plays down the field. All I ask is you guys wait til the pads are on to see what these players are really made of in the NFL before saying our GM made bad picks.
Date: May 2, 2012 at 11:41 AM
Comment: Well, I guess you would have made a better GM than Trent Baalke. Obviously, you know what is best for the 49ers more than he does. You are gauging "best player available" solely by statistics, and statistics are a very poor gauge for such things. You neglect the key element of coaching, which when added to each pick, makes these picks the best available players for this team.
By: Zach Ameen
Date: May 2, 2012 at 11:20 AM
Comment: We made big mistakes by not picking Coby fleener, Stephen Hill or Ruibin Randle. I beleive we have drafted an other Dixter carter who was blazing fast but couldn't break tackles and same thing goes for second rounder. Both of them are small and light.
Date: May 2, 2012 at 10:59 AM
Comment: 800 hours of film study? C'mon son. If you had access to 800 hours of coaches' tape that means you either work for an NFL team, a major scouting company, or you're Greg Cosell, in any case you would not be authorized to write for the zone. You're a big college football fan and a master of YouTube, just like the rest of us armchair GM's on a fan site. Keep it real. As far as your assessment, you're discounting Jenkins explosive plays when you say he's a possession receiver. Yes, he was reliable on crossing patterns and 3rd downs, but he had a whole lot of big plays where he blew the top off the defense. And LaMike's size may make him more likely to be injured, but let's not make it a foregone conclusion. Bottom line: The 49ers added explosive players with positional value early, and plugged holes and added depth later. I really like the strategy, but I, too, questioned the players selected. However, unlike a lot of people here I defer to the experts with proven track record.
Date: May 2, 2012 at 10:29 AM
Comment: Other receivers similar to AJ:
Torry Holt 6'1'' 192 4.44 37''
Reggie Wayne 6'1'' 198 4.45 36''
Steve Smith 5'9'' 184 4.41 38.5'' 4.25 7.44
Steve Breaston 6'1 193 4.46 33'' 4.29 6.9
Greg Jennings 5'11'' 197 4.42 36.5'' 4.18 6.69
Percy Harvin 5'11'' 192 4.39
Nate Burleson 6'1'' 197 4.51 42.5'' 4.16 6.96
Chad Ochocinco 6'1'' 192 4.57 33'' 4.14 7.51
Date: May 2, 2012 at 10:16 AM
Comment: Okay, I stopped reading after seeing "Best Available Player at pick 30". How can you say who was the best player available at each pick? based on what? That more of an opinion than fact.
Date: May 2, 2012 at 10:15 AM
Comment: So you are basically saying that you know how to draft better than the 49ers by saying there were better available players at the same positions at the spots the took them. Kewl.
By: doug dezzani
Date: May 2, 2012 at 9:57 AM
Comment: How do you know these are the best available? Define what you mean by "best available." This is your opinion. Obviously our scouts thought differently.
Date: May 2, 2012 at 9:52 AM
Comment: lamichael had 1500 rush yards every season...dont think his total at oregon was only 1694 yards