WR A.J. Jenkins
: When the 49ers selected Jenkins with the No. 30 overall selection, it was apparent he was joining a position group that was not a short-term need for the 49ers. So consider this a redshirt season for Jenkins.
The 49ers selected the player they had rated as the best-available at that spot in the draft. If the 49ers remain healthy at wide receiver, he probably will not step on the field at all as a rookie.Does that make this a bad draft pick? No. There's not a player the 49ers could've chosen late in the first round that would be a significant contributor as a rookie. Sure, another player chosen at another position could've gotten on the field from time to time. But the 49ers believed Jenkins was the best long-term player available.
We shall see But we're probably not going to see anything from Jenkins for at least another year.
RB LaMichael James
: Joining a position group that already included Gore, Hunter and Jacobs, it is difficult to figure out a way for LaMichael James to make an immediate impact, too.Hunter is built more like an every-down back. James has "change of pace" written all over him. Ultimately, he might be able to make an impact in the return game. But he's not there, yet.
Neither James nor Jenkins contributes on the coverage units on special teams, so there's no way the 49ers can fit them onto the 46-man game day roster.
In the meantime, James and Jenkins have a role at practices during the week. They help prepare the 49ers' defense for what they're going to face against the upcoming opponent. Jenkins mimics the opposition's top receiver, while James this week will line up as Bills running back C.J. Spillman Spiller.
This is what Harbaugh said Wednesday in reference to James and Jenkins:
"Getting ready, learning, being there when they're called upon. I felt that it's been good. All those young guys, again, I know they want to play, and I think they're demonstrating that on the field that they want that. Nobody's hiding. Nobody's trying not to be seen out there on the practice field. They're jumping in there and they're working extremely hard. And that's good. That's what you want. Just try to emphasize it, you'd rather be prepared and not be called upon than be called upon and not be prepared."