Three (games) and Out
By Eric Paolini
A.J. Jenkins has been a member of the Kansas City Chiefs since August 19. His swap with Jonathan Baldwin is one of disappointing wide receivers. Baldwin didn't impress this preseason to go along with two seasons of disappointment. Jenkins's season last year is essentially an incomplete. Maybe a different uniform can help these two receivers.
Jenkins' first-round pedigree will only last so long. He wasn't able to show anything to anybody last season for the 49ers. His final stat line: three games, one target, no receptions. Chiefs general manager John Dorsey pointed to Jenkins's time at Illinois as the reason he was optimistic for what he can do in Kansas City. At some point he'll have to actually produce.
In his final year at Illinois, Jenkins was a top 15 receiver in both receptions and receiving yards. It was his only season of note. His junior year was good but not great and his playing time was limited his first two years. Jenkins's biggest strength is his speed. He can stretch the field with his sub-4.4 time, which is a useful skill if he can get on the field.
In Jenkins's lone year in San Francisco, the wide receiver position wasn't teeming with talent. The Niners had only one receiver with more than 50 receptions. That being said, the offense was very good overall (fifth in offensive DVOA per Football Outsiders). They were a title contender that didn't have the ability to have a player figure it out during the season.
While the Chiefs aren't title contenders this season, they are certainly not going to allow a player to struggle while starting. Jenkins has done absolutely nothing thus far in his career. First-round pedigree aside, can he do anything Donnie Avery, Dexter McCluster, or Devon Wylie can't do? At this point the answer is no. Jenkins has the potential but he needs to prove it, which is a task only made harder by being traded halfway through preseason.