Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports


For The Record - 49ers WR Jauan Jennings

Justin Wong
Apr 25, 2020 at 9:40 PM0


While NFL Draft pundits and fans alike can give instant reactions to their team's player selections, it's easy to forget that the true value of the picks cannot be fully assessed until after a couple of seasons. Some players become instant starters (Deebo Samuel) while others remain a work in progress (Solomon Thomas). Having said that, I want to pull out the receipts on what draft analysts were saying prior to the draft, along with their player comparisons. With the 2020 NFL Draft now in the books, let's review what various scouting outlets were saying about the 49ers' day three picks. The 49ers traded linebacker Eli Harold in 2018 to the Detroit Lions in exchange for a conditional 2020 seventh-round pick. Fast forward to now and with the 217th pick in the NFL Draft, the 49ers select Tennessee wide receiver, Jauan Jennings.


NFL Player Comparison: Jalen Hurd

Dane Brugler of The Athletic thinks sees Jennings as a 'unique playmaker' in his 2020 NFL Draft Guide:

With his impressive physical ingredients, Jennings was basically a post player for the Vols' offense (68.5% of his targets came over the middle of the field in 2019), but he is also a much better YAC player than expected (led the team with 17 offensive plays of 20-plus yards in 2019) due to his powerful strides and competitive nature. While he introduces subtle moves mid-route, he isn't a quick-twitch player in his patterns, limiting his upside as an outside or deep target. Overall, Jennings has only average top-end speed and will struggle to get on top of NFL-level cornerbacks, but his combination of size, physicality and finishing skills make him a unique playmaker, projecting as a "big" slot target.

NFL Analyst Lance Zierlein appreciates his 'savvy and toughness':

Big slot target with size, savvy and toughness, but lacking in functional speed and general quickness. Jennings can be clever in stemming and tilting coverage enough to open throwing windows, but getting away from press coverage is going to be difficult for him. What he can't do may keep him from being drafted, but competitiveness at the catch point, with the ball in his hands, and as a blocker should get him into camp and give him an outside shot as a big, possession slot.

ESPN Scout Inc.'s Draft profile of Jennings gave him a 34 grade:

He possesses excellent size but marginal speed (a red flag 40-yard dash of 4.72 at the combine). His unique trait is the ability to break tackles after the catch. He's a powerful runner with outstanding contact balance, and he has strong hands in traffic. His body control is very good, and he adjusts well to balls thrown outside his frame. Jennings grades out as a No. 4 WR in the NFL.

Anthony Treash and Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus thought the 49ers got great value with the selection of Jennings in their live analysis of the 2020 NFL Draft:

Kyle Shanahan is going to love Jauan Jennings in his offense. He was 70th on our big board and was a monster after the catch in college, breaking tackles at an incredible rate (30 broken on 59 catches) while posting the eighth-most yards after contact. That should translate to the NFL just fine. Jennings is far from a polished product, too.

With the 49ers' final draft selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, they certainly sent a message to the other 49ers wide receivers to step up their game. Consider that the 49ers had few draft picks this year and instead of addressing other positions like cornerback or safety, they double downed on another wide receiver prospect. The 49ers have an obvious type when it comes to receivers and their ability to create yards-after-the-catch; it's something Samuel and Sanders strived in last season and that continues to be a trait between Jennings and fellow rookie receiver, Brandon Aiyuk.

Jennings led all receiver prospects with 30 missed tackles; most of his catches were off slants as a big slot receiver. The more I looked into Jennings, the more I thought of last year's third-round pick, Jalen Hurd. Hurd not only played for the same college at Tennessee early in his career, he was also heavily featured as a slot receiver on slant routes. Perhaps the 49ers are trying to hedge themselves with the uncertain health status of Hurd? Nonetheless, I like the value with this selection--his draft stock fell mightily with a slow 4.72 40-yard dash time--and can appreciate the 49ers getting another possible red zone target in Jennings.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



49ers Notebook: Talanoa Hufanga's improvement; Brian Griese's impact; DJ Jones talks 49ers; Why is Jimmy G so loud?

By Kirk Larrabee
Sep 22

Today marked another day of media rounds for the San Francisco 49ers, with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, and run game coordinator/offensive line coach Chris Foerster being among those to speak to reporters in Santa Clara. Among the topics discussed in those media sessions were the improvement of safety Talanoa Hufanga, the impact of new quarterbacks coach Brian Griese, and where Jimmy Garoppolo gets his vocal power from. There were also some quotes of note to come from outside 49ers facilities, including some thoughts from former 49ers defensive tackle D.J. Jones as he gets set to face his former team when the 49ers face the Broncos in Denver on Sunday night. Here's a rundown of those topics and more in this version of 49ers



49ers Notebook: The Trent Williams effect; Shanahan on his decision to decline key penalty; A familiar face haunts 49ers

By Kirk Larrabee
Sep 26

The sooner everyone moves on from the 49ers' dreadful 11-10 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday night the better. But first, let's tie up some loose ends to come from Sunday's postgame interviews. Much of the postgame discussion surrounded the performance of the 49ers' offense, which was poor enough to squander a defensive effort that held the Broncos' offense to just nine points. But there was also some honesty regarding the loss of left tackle Trent Williams, some insight from head coach Kyle Shanahan on why he declined an important first half penalty, and much more. Let's get into a roundup of some of Sunday's postgame comments in this edition of 49ers Notebook. George Kittle's honesty on the loss of Trent Williams and the performance of the



49ers vs. Broncos defensive grades: Another defensive masterclass ruined for the 49ers

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Sep 28

The San Francisco 49ers suffered another head-scratching loss, this time to the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football by the score of 11-10, in a game where the defensive brilliance could not overcome the offensive woes. Here are the defensive grades for the 49ers in Week 3: Defensive Line: A About 90 minutes prior to game time, reports surfaced that the 49ers would be without star defensive tackle Arik Armstead, potentially making the matchup even tougher, especially with San Francisco facing off against the strong running back duo of Javonte Williams and



49ers Notebook: What happens when Jimmie Ward returns?; 49ers on Tua; Bobby T welcomed back; No 'body bag' talk from George Kittle this week

By Kirk Larrabee
Sep 30

There was plenty to talk about around 49ers facilities Friday afternoon, ranging from Monday night's home game against the Los Angeles Rams to what happened Thursday night with Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovaiola. Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, run game coordinator/offensive line coach Chris Foerster, tight end George Kittle, and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo were among those to speak to reporters on Friday. We have a rundown of their thoughts on the aforementioned subjects, as well as their reactions to the return of running backs coach Bobby Turner, who came back to the team after undergoing knee surgery. Let's get into that and more in this version of 49ers Notebook. A good problem The 49ers took an unwanted hit to their secondary towards


Featured

More by Justin Wong

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone