49ers can’t catch a break when it comes to drafting wide receivers

This is my Saturday column on the 49ers’ recent history drafting wide receivers.

By now, you’ve seen what I’ve seen from A.J. Jenkins the past two training camps:

A wide receiver utterly overmatched by starting NFL cornerbacks. Friday night against the Chiefs, he faced their starting right cornerback Sean Smith and could not shake him. When Smith decided to press Jenkins, Smith swallowed him up. Jenkins couldn’t get past the line of scrimmage.

Jenkins is the eighth or ninth-best wide receiver on the 49ers. Anquan Boldin, Marlon Moore, Kyle Williams, Austin Collie, Quinton Patton, Chad Hall, Chuck Jacobs and Lavelle Hawkins all are better than Jenkins. He doesn’t deserve a spot on the 49ers’ 53-man roster. He’s one of the biggest busts in 49ers’ franchise history, up there with Kentwan Balmer, Rashaun Woods and Jim Druckenmiller.

But this isn’t a pile-on-Jenkins column. He didn’t draft himself in the first round, and he may become a decent receiver one day. He has the physical tools to do so. He just may not have the temperament or will.

This column is about the general manager, Trent Baalke. Actually, it’s about the entire 49ers front office, including Jim Harbaugh. We assume they work together, coaches, scouts and general manager.

Collectively, they stink at drafting wide receivers.

They’re brilliant at drafting other positions, like linebacker and guard and fullback – the bruisers. But when it comes to more finesse positions like wide receiver and cornerback, the 49ers have been lost for almost two decades.

The 49ers drafted Terrell Owens in the third round of the 1996 draft. Dwight Clark picked him. That was a brilliant pick.

Since then, the 49ers have drafted 17 wide receivers: Ryan Thelwell, Tai Streets, Cedrick Wilson, Brandon Lloyd, Arnaz Battle, Rashaun Woods, Derrick Hamilton, Rasheed Marshall, Marcus Maxwell, Brandon Williams, Jason Hill, Josh Morgan, Michael Crabtree, Kyle Williams, Ronald Johnson, A.J. Jenkins and Quinton Patton. Ugh.

Crabtree was a good pick, but he was a no-brainer when he fell to the 49ers at No. 10. Brandon Lloyd was a pretty good pick, but he never did much for the 49ers and he had only one 1,000-yard season in his 10-year career. Woods was a first-round bust. Brandon Williams and Jason Hill were third-round busts.

Maybe it’s time the 49ers reexamine their axioms for drafting wide receivers.

With Jenkins, it’s almost like the 49ers saw his 4.3 speed, long arms and big hands and believed they could coach the rest. So far, they haven’t.

Here is a common-sense axiom the 49ers’ front office should consider: Never draft a wide receiver in the first round unless he’s a flat-out stud. No one ever thought Jenkins was a flat-out stud.

He wasn’t even invited to the Senior Bowl at first, meaning NFL scouts didn’t consider him one of the top-10 senior wide receivers in the country. Jenkins eventually made the Senior Bowl roster as an injury replacement for Marquis Maze and caught just one pass in the game. He played poorly against the best college seniors in the country.

He also played poorly against the best teams in the Big Ten, averaging just 63.5 yards receiving per game and scoring zero touchdowns his senior season against Ohio State, Purdue, Penn State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. You can’t draft a receiver in the first round with that many red flags.

When Bill Walsh ran the 49ers from 1979 to 1988, he drafted one wide receiver in the first round. His name was Jerry Rice. Walsh drafted just eight receivers total over those 10 years, and only two higher than the fourth round – Rice and John Taylor. Walsh drafted Taylor in the third round.

Al Davis ran the Raiders from 1966 to 2011, and over those 45 years he drafted only seven receivers before the fourth round – Darrius Heyward-Bey, Johnnie Lee Higgins, Jerry Porter, Tim Brown, Tim Moffett, Jessie Hester and Mike Siani. Davis drafted all-time-great receiver Cliff Branch in the fourth round.

It seems Davis and Walsh shared a fundamental wide receiver axiom – don’t draft one before the fourth round unless he is special.

Maybe Harbaugh and Baalke already have learned from their mistakes and picked up this vital axiom. This offseason, they drafted wide receiver Quinton Patton at the end of the fourth round. Unlike Jenkins, Patton consistently produced in college and played well at the Senior Bowl.

About a month ago, Patton broke his left pointer finger in practice but he’s been running routes and catching passes with one hand throughout training camp. He’s a better receiver right now with one hand than Jenkins is with two, but that says more about Jenkins than Patton.

If Patton becomes a good receiver for the 49ers, he’ll be the first draft pick to pan out at that position in the Harbaugh-Baalke Era.

Until then, Baalke and Harbaugh are on the schneid.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at grantcohn@gmail.com.

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  1. There’s one thing at play here that the receivers may not be afforded; Baalke/Harbaugh don’t want AJ to fail!

    A failure by AJ carries FO ramifications that they may not willing to admit to, but AJ’ play is not making it easy on the FO to excuse him any longer.

    I said two weeks ago that AJ needs to follow A.Collie’ every move and try to learn from Collie’ attitude. Collie is practicing and playing for his football life after being given another chance.
    From what I’ve read, Collie went as far a signing an injury waiver that protects the team if he is injured.
    Now that (Collie) is a player that AJ can glean from.

    But my gut says that AJ will be around for at least one more season.

    1. “This column is about the general manager, Trent Baalke. Actually, it’s about the entire 49ers front office, including Jim Harbaugh. We assume they work together, coaches, scouts and general manager.
      Collectively, they stink at drafting wide receivers.”

      Ugh..how many years has Balke been a GM? Ugh…how many of the listed receivers has Balke drafted? Ugh…you say collectively the niners front office stinks at picking WR’s but ugh…you go on praising some WRs drafted by previous GM’s.

      Ugh…entire article just seems…ugh questionable.

    2. “This column is about the general manager, Trent Baalke. Actually, it’s about the entire 49ers front office, including Jim Harbaugh. We assume they work together, coaches, scouts and general manager.
      Collectively, they stink at drafting wide receivers.”

      Ugh..how many years has Balke been a GM? Ugh…how many of the listed receivers has Balke drafted? Ugh…you say collectively the niners front office stinks at picking WR’s but ugh…you go on praising some WRs drafted by previous GM’s.

      Ugh…entire article just seems…ugh questionable.

  2. Great commentary, Grant.

    I am curious to see how Baalke and Harbaugh will handle this situation. I would think that Harbaugh is ready to move on without him.

    On the bright side, Patton looks like he will develop into what AJ never could: a threat, and a great compliment to Crabtree/Boldin.

  3. Good article Grant, I was actually going to ask you how you rank the 49ers receivers at this point.

    From recollection, WR has one of the highest “bust” %s of any position in the first round. Should tell you all you need to know about the risks associated with the position. The frustrating part about taking Jenkins in the 1st round is that it was widely considered to be a pretty poor WR class. They would have been much better served looking elsewhere in the 1st round.

    Compare that to 2013, where there were a lot of good looking WRs available. It would have made far more sense to be taking a WR higher this year (though I agree with avoiding 1st round except for special talents). Getting a guy like Patton in the 4th was more good luck than good draft management, but it does show that good looking WRs can be found in the mid rounds. But this was a year where I believe quite a few guys taken in the 2nd and 3rd rounds will go on to be good WRs in the NFL. It was an uncommonly good year for WRs and the 49ers should have drafted accordingly. How much happier would people currently be to have a guy like Markus Wheaton in the late 2nd round/ early in the 3rd this year vs AJ Jenkins? Same type of build, speed, etc, but Wheaton is already turning heads at the Steelers.

    1. Thanks, Crab15.

      Scott Brown has been the 49ers’ midwest regional scout the past two years. In 2011, he was the defensive line coach at Arizona State. Before that, he was the defensive line coach at Colorado State from 08-10. Before that, he was the defensive line coach at Duke from 96-07. Before that, he was the defensive line coach at Minnesota from 92-24 and the linebackers coach for Minnesota in 95. Before that, he was the defensive line coach at TCU from 83-91. Before that, he was the defensive line coach at Southwest Texas State from 80-83.

        1. Also, this year the 49ers didn’t draft any players who went to college in the midwest. Their first nine draft picks came from the south.

          The 49ers’ southern regional scout is Bob Morris. He was Indiana’s secondary coach from 84-93, Purdue’s defensive coordinator from 94-95 and Akron’s defensive coordinator in 96.

          The 49ers’ national scout is Justin Chabot. Here’s what the media guide says about him: “Chabot is in his 10th year with the 49ers and his first as the team’s national scout In his current role, he is repsonsible for scouting the southeast region as well as crosschecking college football’s top prospects throughout the country. Chabot began his time with the 49ers scouting the midwest region for four years. He later scouted the southwest region for two years, the southeast region for two years and most recently the midwest region for one year.

          “Prior to jioning the 49ers, Chabot spent five years as the director of football operations at Northwestern…Chabot was extremely familiar with Northwestern’s football program, having starred as an offensive lineman on the 1995 snf 2996 Big Ten Championship teams.”

    2. How about York forking out big bucks to Jerry Rice to be soley a WR scout? Also, have him teach his famous conditioning workout to all Niner WR’s. No one is Jerry Rice but what’s wrong with trying to emulate him?

  4. WR draft pick busts are very common. I’ve read that its the position with the most 1st rd draft busts so as long as the front office continues to draft well other than WR everything is good. Maybe they should sign FA wideouts not draft. Lastly Grant you said Rice was the only WR Walsh chose in the first rd, who drafted JJ Stokes?

    1. Old Coach,

      WR, while a crap shoot in the draft is also one of the most expensive to sign in free agency, so that’s why you have to keep drafting them hoping to catch a diamond and keep him while still under a budget contract.

      1. So why not be patient with Jenkins, give him a reduced role and continue to develop him. This finalization after a lousy camp and preseason is one thing, giving up on him does not serve the team well from a cap perspective and a patience perspective.
        They still have tons of guys that can get it done between Patton, Lockette, Hall and Moore and Williams. Where’s the fire?

      2. The fire is whether they believe they can get production from his cap number. They need producing players and how do you sign Kaep and all the other free agents we have coming up with an expensive WR who doesn’t play?
        Maybe taking the hit now makes more sense if there’s room.

      3. If they cut him and no one picks him up I think he counts like $2.7 against their cap versus keeping him only costs them $1.7. So it makes more sense to keep him, develop him or trade him which sounds almost impossible at this point based on what we have seen.

      4. Prime – Might as well hold on to Jenkins then. Only problem is, if he doesn’t play much his confidence will continue to fall.

      5. Maybe Crabs but if not, he might be out of football forever. Better to sit and learn than work like animals at real jobs like us suckers!

      6. Prime – Lol….you reminded me of the scene in Goodfellas. It went something like this “to us, the people who work sh**ty jobs for a bum paycheck and worry about paying their bills…….those are the suckers.”

      7. Prime,

        Last week you were all over me for saying Jenkins would be kept on the team and you questioned me on it based on him possibly not earning it.

        Now you are saying they should be patient and keep him around. Which is it?

        ICYMI, the cap hit is just over $4.3 mil if they cut him compared to just over $1.5 for keeping him. The cap hit is much lower if they ride it out this year and give him one more offseason.

  5. Grant
    Just to quibble over an historical detail, my recollection is Al Davis signed Fred Belitnikoff to a 1st Round Offer Sheet (preliminary to the more formal contract) on the field at the conclusion of the Gator Bowl Game back in the days before the merger. And this from Mr. Speed-speed-speed himself! So if I’ve got that right, he should be on that list too; no big deal. To be honest, I remember Freddie’s tremendous game (4 TDs I think) and the on-field signing, but I’m not sure that was Al. But who else? Fred’s QB got signed on the field that day too, Steve Tensi, but I don’t think he did that much in the Pros.

    1. Good point. Davis was the Raiders’ coach and G.M. from 63-65, and in 65 he drafted Biletnikoff with the 11th pick in the second round. That was a great pick.

      1. Thanks for cross checking that. A few brain cells still remain; pretty random though! 2nd Rd? Fascinating they’d sign a second that way! It was cut-throat between AFL/NFL those days.

      2. Both leagues were desperate to get Namath. A joke was that the Jets might’ve used some Mob muscle to get Namath away from the NFL and the Draft Board.
        Check it out; Joe was deemed physically unfit for the military draft, but two leagues waved a lot of money to disagree.

    1. I agree. If Josh was healthy in 2011 (his season wasted on a 4th qtr “whats your deal” pass vs Tampa)…
      - Ginn would not been hurt playing WR vs Seattle in reg season
      - Morgan would have been the WR vs NY in the title game, Ginn the punt returner.

      You know the rest of the story.

      A healthy Morgan in 2011 and a Healthy Haralson in 2012 would have equaled 7 total Lombardi trophies in 49er headquarters.

  6. So, this isn’t an AJ Jenkins hate article. But it is a Jim Harbaugh INCLUDED complaint? So you are complaining about taking Rojo in the 6th round of 2011, AJ Jenkins in the 1st round of 2012, and Quinton Patton in the 4th round this last year? No, Grant. This is an AJ Jenkins rant. Either that, or don’t include Harbaugh. Those are the 3 wide receivers taken so far with him at the helm, and you know you’re only really mad about one of them. Get real.

    1. I don’t think anyone is “really mad” about a bust draft pick. It is a bit disturbing to see how bad Jenkins is; I bet even Harbaugh and Baalke stay up at night wondering how on earth Jenkins turned out to be so bad. Imagine the discussions behind closed doors last year when they benched him and brough up Hall from the PS to take his place….that must have been interesting.

      I don’t see anything wrong with “ranting” (as you call it), writing an opinion piece, expressing what all of us, have been watching and reading about for the past year: Jenkins sucks.

      1. I didn’t say he was “really mad”. I said “all he is really (actually) mad about is that pick. So really, when he says it’s not a piece about bashing on Jenkins, that is wrong. It is all just a rant about how bad Jenkins is. Just call it what it is.

      1. Grant,

        Is it true that Jenkins said he ran the wrong route on the McCoy interception in the Denver game?

        I had not heard that until reading a tweet from one of the other Bay Area reporters a short time ago.

        1. That’s what Kevin Lynch tweeted, but I don’t think he was at the game. I’ll ask the other reporters tomorrow.

      2. Thanks Grant. Lynch was all over AJ with his tweets today while rewatching the game. The one that made me laugh was when he said McCoy and Tolzien looked so bad because they were throwing to Jenkins.

  7. Grant the biggest problem with drafting a true stud early is the fact that EVERYONE wants the early stud WR. After all it is the 2nd sexiest position in football behind QB and GM’s easily fall in love with the cut-up on these guys then consistently over value them in the draft. Once the top two guys in any given year are off of the board the rest next few are definitely a crap shoot as history, at least 9er history, has shown. It is definetely not going to get easier for the 9ers in the future as they will hopefully be picking in the bottom of the 1st round for years to come but it will be vital. If noone from the crop of guys out there now pan out then teams will definitely find a way to stop the “Read-Option”; play man-up on the outside, stuff the box and dare us to beat them through the air. Reminds me of the strategy that every DC took to stop Gore during the Singletary era. Maybe free-agency is the answer? It will hurt to spend the bucks but at least they can find a quality proven 2nd tier guy and stick with their expertise of getting value at the other positions. Especially with the need to plug the inevitable holes that are coming up with the contracts due to expire

    1. That’s what they did w/Manningham. Good pick, he just got injured. Let’s see if Marlon Moore and Collie pan out too…if Collie makes the roster and remains conscious during the season, then he could be a good pick up at slot.

    1. “Piles on”? This is a strong opinion piece, backed by solid evidence.

      Moreover, is there something wrong with writing an opinion piece registering those views? I don’t think so. I would be worried, and would stop reading this column, if these types of articles were adulatory of Jenkins..and the way the Niners have handled him.

  8. I agree that the drafting of WR’s by the 49ers has been a problem during recent years. The Crabtree injury really shines some light on the organizations inability to pick WR’s.

    A starting duo of Crabtree and Boldin would simply be formidable. The though of those two guys catching rockets from No. 7 during crunch time in late Nov, Dec and Jan gives me goosebumps. I am thinking “Un-freaking-stopable”. Now we desperately need someone to stand up. It just is not gonna be Jenkins. In my mind he is a complete bust and needs to be written off as soon as possible.

    This team is so loaded minus WR and CB. Overall it has a chance to be better than the 2011 team which I thought was better than the 2012 team that made it to the Super Bowl thanks in large part to our young star QB. If the 49ers get some real quality no.2 and no. 3 WR play and CB play this team could be dominant. I’m holding out for a quick recovery from Crabtree.

    1. Also 2011 had a much better Special team squad than 2012.

      Unfortunately, 2013 Special teams so far looks no better (perhaps worse) than the 2012 team.

      If Brad Sealy is so good, why are these guys unable to stay in their lanes?

  9. “They’re brilliant at drafting other positions, like linebacker and guard and fullback – the bruisers. But when it comes to more finesse positions like wide receiver and cornerback, the 49ers have been lost for almost two decades.” How about quarterback (CK), Grant, is that a finesse position? How about tight end (V. Davis and McDonald)? I understand what you are saying about wide receiver. My point is, you can make your point without overstating it.

    About Jenkins, Baalke drafted him thinking, probably, that after a year he would be the equivalent of an early first round pick. Obviously a miscalculation.

      1. The problem with the CB argument is T Brown and Culliver. In most drafts, if you have a pick in every round, you might expect your 1st round pick to be a starter with pro-bowl capability, rounds 2-3 should be decent starters and then picks 4-7 you really can’t bank on, especially if you are a top level team, always picking at the end of each round and having a roster that’s extremely talented and deep. If you look back through the drafts as a whole, do they get 2-3 players that turned into starters no matter the position?

  10. I hate to say this but Jenkins did not look right! There is definitely something going on with him and he must go see a shrink! I would be surprise for him to make the team despite his draft position unless he has two great games! Come on AJ lets go baby.

    1. I am holding out the slightest glimmer of hope as well, but mostly because NONE of the other WRs have risen to the occasion. If someone would actually start to look like a good number two or three option, then I wouldn’t give a flip about Jenkins. Every pick isn’t going to be golden and sometimes you just have to cut bait.

      This guy…the mental aspect is too big a deal to over come though. I thought he had much greater mental toughness, but without confidence…he’s done.

  11. How is this idea?
    Put AJ on the Practice Squad.
    That way he doesn’t take up space on the roster that could go to a more deserving receiver.
    Probably no other team will take him cause his price tag is so high. But if another team does take him – I think that would give the niners some more cap space. Seems like a non-risky solution to a thorny problem.

    1. Reporter to Jenkins: “Are you bothered being a first round draft pick, then winding up on the practice squad a full season later?”

      Jenkins answer: “Nope. Everything’s fine. Right on schedule. Gives me a chance to study behind great players like (insert UFA name here). It’s all good. Just got to grind. Making huge strides compared to last year. The game is slowing down for me. Saying “grind” alot makes me feel good. Hey, is that an Its-It? Can I have a bite? I just love Its-Its ever since moving out here…”

    2. You do realize that being put on the practice squad means they first have to be put on waivers…meaning EVERY team in the NFL can claim them…you really think AJ will make it to the practice squad. You must be out your mind.

      1. Kidding about AJ on the PS. Yup, know about the 24 hr waivers. I’m hoping they can stash guys like MarQueis Gray and B.J. Daniels on the PS but I think they would be be snapped up by other teams.

    3. Lou, I thought about the practice squad move about a week ago. My question is what happens to his salary? If he’s put on waivers and then signed to the PS, does that accelerate the hit against the cap?

      The one thing I doubt is that some other team will sign him for his current contract, so I don’t think it would be a risk, and if someone does pick him up it’s not much of a loss.

      1. Exactly, so if someone else wanted him, they could get him under a new contract and leave us holding the bag on his current salary.

        That said, if we have the room, perhaps it makes sense to take the hit NOW, this year, before we have to sign Kaep next year. We need plenty of room for him and if AJ isn’t the answer, then get rid of the money now.

  12. Honestly this column is getting a little embarrassing, which is really odd for a sportswriter who is actually on point a fair amount of the time.
    We all know what you think about AJ and… yeah, you’re probably right. But does anyone really think you’re objective about your critique? I’m sure someone out there does but it’s nobody I know.
    Now, you have far better access and seats than I ever will but it really seemed to me that ALL the 49er recievers got dominated in the first 3 quarters. You probably have the stats… how many catches did the receivers make before the BJ Daniels drive?
    I know I know, you just write what you see and if what you see is AJ Jenkins stinking up the field it ‘s your sports writerly duty to tell the truth.
    But c’mon, it’s a premature end zone dance and most everybody see it. You called BS on the pick long ago and you’d rather be right than actually write. Even when you say something nice about the guy it’s usually back handed or followed by some reason why whatever positive thing he may have done actually wasn’t his doing.
    And that ‘s fine.
    But you ONLY do it for him. Seriously, go back and read your columns. It almost seems compulsive.
    You obviously know football and have some valuable insight about the roster. But sometimes you really just come off like a spoiled kid bragging about how he was right all along. And nobody likes that kid.
    I don’t know if you played sports, but I remember scoring my first touchdown as a kid and I spiked the ball because that ‘s what you do right? And my coach pulled me aside and said, “We don’t celebrate until it”s over. When we score we act like we’ve been there before.”
    Act like you’ve been right before man.

    1. Isn’t a “pescador” a fisherman in Spanish?
      Q: What do you call a fisherman that won’t shut up?
      A: A big-mouthed bass!

      1. Pescador (fisherman) – No fishing allowed here, especially crab fishing.
        Crabs crab facts: The coconut crab is the world’s largest crab. It can cut holes in coconuts with its claws. Don’t mess with CRABZILLA!

    2. I have to come to Grant’s defense and say you have to call them like you see them. He has the right to say, “Hey reader I told you this guy was not the best use of your team’s first round pick.” I don’t think Grant is gloating I just think it’s his opinion. By the way I think it is the opinion of a great many of the readers. Even you had to admit that he is probably right. Plus isn’t it just as bad for you to cast stones at Grant while you are “chastising” him for the same thing you are doing? Just sayin’!

      1. Of course everybody has a right to an opinion. Grant comments on athletes and I in turn commented on his commentary.
        Opinions aren’t my issue. My issue is backing an opinion with an unbalanced argument, and if you think Grant’s coverage of AJ has been balanced we’re reading a different column. I know a lot of people jumped on Grant for dissing the pick outright so maybe he feels justified in waving his finger in their face but you still gotta’ be fair or else you just look bad.
        Like calling AJ a bust in the beginning of year two. Because all players reach their full potential by year two? I remember a lot of talk in Cincinnati 5 years ago over a 4th overall pick that some were calling a “bust.” Justin Smith. Arguably our defensive MVP over the last 3 years. Is AJ the same as Justin Smith? Probably not. But a bust? Already?
        To me that just seems a little premature and driven more by the authors need to be right than actual reporting.
        I really don’t hate this column. I read it often and think it can be very informative. I just wish the tone was less petty, that’s all.

    3. I think that’s a fair assessment of some of Grant’s work. He occasionally overstates his point. However, I think he likes to go against conventional wisdom. I’ll admit, I don’t always like it but I don’t mind a different perspective either. In this case, I think it’s a fair question, if not a fair assessment, UNLESS you compare other franchises and their results when drafting WR before the 4th round.

      Example: Detroit, numerous wasted picks on WR, Titus young being the most obvious, however they also drafted Megatron. Are they considered successful or failures when drafting WR?! Pittsburgh seems to be successful drafting early rd WR, Wallace, brown, Stewart, and possibly Wheaton. New England has failed at drafting WR, Chicago is still waiting to draft a decent WR! the truth is WR is a hard position to project.

  13. NY Giants go a pretty good job assessing receiver talent and drafting – S Smith, Nicks, Cruz , R Randal … Maybe the niners should hire their WR scout. Or maybe the niners should seek out their own WR expert prior to next years draft.

  14. Just pass on drafting WRs overall, they come pretty cheap on the free agent market. And look, we got the best WR on the roster for a 6th round pick, Anquan Boldin.

    1. The Pats gave up on drafting WR’s, until this year, and ironically their best WR from this year’s draft is Thomkins, who was undrafted. They’ve drafted several over the years, and all of them except Edelman and Branch, were out of the league in a short time : http://nfl.si.com/2013/04/15/patriots-in-trouble-at-receiver-given-bill-belichicks-draft-history/

      There is no certainty when it comes to drafting WR’s, or other positions, in the first round, for that matter. The Jaguars drafted Blackmon, “an All Star in the making”, and he’s been a nightmare for them. The Raiders have had their busts as well…but those are self-inflicted injuries ;-)

  15. Grant you haven’t spoken much about Patton, I realize he’s been limited but what do you see from him? Will he be a starter by the end of the season if not by the beginning?

  16. This has been a weakness of either the scouting team or front office. We seem to underestimate the need at WR and when we do draft, we pick pretty average to below average performers. I do think Quinton Patton may prove to be a good pick but we need to see him in action.

      1. MontanaMan, I understand your point of view but please do not compare Crabtree to AJ! They are not even close. Crabtree was the best WR in college and despite the hold out and being a rookie he was productive once he started playing. Now his chemistry with Alex was not that great in the beginning therefore the production was not very high.

    1. If we would’ve went by this same logic, we would of cut Crabtree a couple years ago and look what happened there!

      1. Crabtree held out and was injured early in his career. AJJ is incapable of competing at the NFL level. Bad comparison.

      2. MM16 – Yeah the Niners would’ve cut the only two time Biletnikof award winner. There goes any credibility you may have had….Hilarious

      3. Good point Montana. Although this team is ready to win now, it’s still important to have some guys that you need to develop. Maybe AJ is one of those guys that the Niners don’t need right now and work him in as a project over the next 2 years.

      4. MontanaMan,

        Crabtree produced from the moment he joined the team. Jenkins looks like he’s still trying to find the way out of his moms bathroom.

      5. Prime – Seriously? You agree with comparing Crabtree to Jenkins? Crabtree was the top college WR in the nation 2 years in a row. Nobody outside of Illinois knew who Jenkins was in college. Did somebody slip you a mickey or did you get hacked?

      6. Crabs where did I compare Jenkins and Crabtree? The organization was very patient with Crabtree. All I’m saying is why give up on him? They have other guys who are clearly stepping up. Let him continue to develop, no need to cut him, no need to label him just yet.
        Part of being a good team is having depth and having guys in your program that are developing and when ready can contribute. Guys like Ian Williams, T.Brock, Culliver, Delanie Walker. So he hasn’t lived up to a first round pick, would not be the first time.

      7. MM16′s post was as lame as a DS post and you said “good point.” Whatever…….I must have misunderstood your compliment to Montana Man…….My bad bro.

  17. *IF* Jenkins ever becomes a real NFL receiver, it will only be after he gets a lot stronger. You can’t make plays when you are falling down every other play, or getting manhandled by CBs. He needed to add 15 or 20 pounds of muscle in the off-season, not 4. I have to put the blame on him for that. Everyone here knew he needed to get stronger in the off-season, and he did not get it done. If he does get another chance, it may not be in SF.

  18. Cohn, you are not a columnist, you are a jackass! First, Kyle Williams was and is a very good receiver who for several years had a pretty terrible QB named Alex “dump off” Smith passing to him. Until hurt, he and Kaepernick had developed a good repoire. Next, Manningham was excellent pickup and like Williams, until hurt, produced. Baalke had nothing to do with all those other names you mentioned, when the Niners lost their way, and sucked in general (although Cedric Wilson was solid, and Lloyd became good after the Niners). Crabtree was a no brainier for the Niners, several teams passed on him due to his attitude, so again, a bit of a bs statement on your part. Was Jenkins drafted too high? We’ll see, it’s preseason and the QB’s throwing to him have been awful. Kaep isnt even playing. if he is a bust, so what, the track record for Baalke with regard to late round pickes is rediculous and his record with first rounders is pretty great too. You get to tie Baalke to the past 4 drafts and that’s it. In those drafts, he has only targeted 4 wr, that’s it. The first, is still on the team and will likely start. The second is struggling, but full of talent. The third, we have no clue. Beyond that, he has generally drafted stars and solid backups, which is why we will likely make it back to the SB. Aldon Smith, Kaepernick and Culliver in the first three picks. Davis, Iupati and Bowman in first 4. 2012 is still developing (you evaluate drafts 3 years later), but James is a stud, Cam Johnson, Looney, Jenkins and Johnson are still developing. Fleming was just bad luck. Period. This years draft, it could be his best. Reid looks like a future star, Lemonier and McDonald steals, and everyone else we don’t know, but pretty sure no one will complain about Carradine next year when fully healthy (absolute beast in college). Yet again, you show your lack of maturity and a clearly biased view of Baalke and Harbaugh, just like your father. Whether AJ makes good or not is meaningless, Baalke’s past four years are second to none and 31 other teams would jump at the chance to bring him aboard.

    PS: Baalke has only drafted 3 CB’s in 4 years and only one before 7th rd. Oh, and have been to the NFC Championship and SB in 2 of those 4 years.

    2010 NFL Draft
    Round Pick # Overall Name Position College
    1 11 11 Anthony Davis Offensive Tackle Rutgers
    1 17 17 Mike Iupati Guard Idaho
    2 17 49 Taylor Mays Safety Southern California
    3 27 91 NaVorro Bowman Linebacker Penn State
    6 4 173 Anthony Dixon Running Back Mississippi State
    6 13 182 Nate Byham Tight End Pittsburgh
    6 37 206 Kyle Williams Wide Receiver Arizona State
    7 17 224 Phillip Adams Cornerback South Carolina State

    2011 NFL Draft
    Round Pick # Overall Name Position College
    1 7 7 Aldon Smith Defensive End Missouri
    2 4 36 Colin Kaepernick Quarterback Nevada
    3 16 80 Chris Culliver Cornerback South Carolina
    4 18 115 Kendall Hunter Running Back Oklahoma State
    5 32 163 Daniel Kilgore Guard Appalachian State
    6 17 182 Ronald Johnson Wide Receiver USC
    6 25 190 Colin Jones Safety Texas Christian
    7 8 211 Bruce Miller Fullback Central Florida
    7 36 239 Mike Person Guard Montana State
    7 47 250 Curtis Holcomb Cornerback Florida A&M

    2012 NFL Draft
    Round Pick # Overall Name Position College
    1 30 30 A. J. Jenkins Wide Receiver Illinois
    2 29 61 LaMichael James Running Back Oregon
    4 22 117 Joe Looney Guard Wake Forest
    5 30 165 Darius Fleming Linebacker Notre Dame
    6 10 180 Trenton Robinson Safety Michigan State
    6 29 199 Jason Slowey Center Western Oregon
    7 30 237 Cam Johnson Defensive End Virginia

    2013 NFL Draft
    Round Pick # Overall Name Position College
    1 18 18 Eric Reid Safety LSU
    2 8 40 Cornellius Carradine Defensive End Florida State
    2 23 55 Vance McDonald Tight End Rice
    3 26 88 Corey Lemonier Defensive End Auburn
    4 31 128 Quinton Patton Wide Receiver Louisiana Tech
    4 34 131 Marcus Lattimore Running Back South Carolina
    5 24 157 Quinton Dial Defensive Tackle Alabama
    6 12 180 Nick Moody Linebacker Florida State
    7 31 237 B. J. Daniels Quarterback South Florida
    7 40 246 Carter Bykowski Offensive Tackle Iowa State
    7 46 252 Marcus Cooper Cornerback Rutgers

      1. My point is simple, Cohn doesn’t know what he is talking and cannot make the claim that Baalke fails with CB and WR when he has only drafted 4 wr in four years and only one is currently not on the team, one is the likely starter and looked good last year before, one struggling, but only 2nd year and other is rookie. CB’s, we have only drafted 3 and 2 were 7th rounders. Curl liver was our 3rd corner, looking good in camp and eventual starter opposite Brown. The other CB’s? 7th rounders, so who cares. Again, Cohn is full of bs and always been. Whenever you hit him with facts, he shuts up. He’s a clown, just like his dad. That’s my point.

      2. Right Chess, and stating that Baalke is deficient in drafting WR and CB’s after only drafting 4 wr and 3 cb in four years doesn’t support Cohn’s position AT ALL. Especially, when only two from both positions were drafted before the third round. No one with any football smarts would or could make a judgement based on two 7th round cb’s not making a team…they almost never make ANY team. What a joke.

    1. I know it wasn’t the real gist of your argument, but can someone please explain to me how Kaep and KW developed good rapport (I assume that is what you meant by “repoire”). From recollection, KW played the Rams game that Kaep came into when Alex got hurt, and the Bears game, then got hurt reasonably early on in the Saints game. In those games he had 4 catches… total. Kaep and KW had one really nice play – a 57 yarder on a beautiful pass over KW right shoulder against the Bears. One. How does one really nice play = good rapport?!!

      Williams is now a 4th year vet with a whopping total of 35 career catches. I think he is likely to be the starting flanker this year, but he is anything but a proven commodity. And he has barely been able to practice this off-season, so we had best hope that one really nice play last season was all it takes to develop a good rapport.

      1. Right, in two games with Kaepernick he averaged 12 yds on 3 catches as the 4th receiver and avg 30 yds on 2 catches, including a 57 yarder against Chicago. Considering what had done with crappy Smith, he was showing potential.

    2. The piece was about their inability to draft impact WR’s and CB’s. They haven’t done that at WR yet, maybe Patton will be their saving grace, and the only decent CB they have drafted was Culliver who showed glaring weaknesses in year 2.

      You can rattle off all the other draft picks that have worked out great, no one including Grant is disputing that here.

      1. Fine, but your sample data, better be more than 4 wr drafted in 4 years and only one in first 3 rds. Technically, Johnson is the only bust to this point, If Jenkins and Patton end up being good, that would mean he would have been successful hitting on a 6th rounder and 4th rounder.

        You can criticize Baalke for only drafting 4 wr, and 3 cb in 4 years (in the case of the cb’s only one before the 7th rd), but you cannot claim there is enough data, or results to support Cohn’s assertion.

      2. Also, Culliver was solid all year until he hit the playoffs. In fact, outside of Brown, no one else was close. I also recall Brown get burned all day against Falcons. Seriously, all you people need to ease on the first and second year players. It takes time to develop. Look at guys like Miles Austin. Guy went from 5 receptions his rookie year to 13 his 2nd, to 81 his third.

      3. Jenkins won’t be good. He’s in his second year and can’t even get off the line of scrimmage. The only reason Williams is in contention for the #2 spot is Crabtree and Manningham are out, otherwise he is fighting for the #4 spot at best.

        Culliver showed signs of struggling last year as early as the Giants game. Manning exposed his inability to turn and locate on the deep ball, and the good teams in the playoffs took advantage of it.

        As for Grant not responding to you, what do you expect? You called him a jackass. That’s more of a reflection on you. That’s too bad.

      4. Jack,

        You have zero idea what Jenkins will develop into. Sorry, but football doesn’t work that way. Brandon Lloyd did nothing for us and ended up being a very productive receiver. Culliver? Culliver was in his 2nd year for god sakes.

        When you go all in like Grant did from day one criticizing Jenkins you better be right. Otherwise, you lose ALL credibility. Thats not a reflection on me, but on an immature writer who repeatedly attacked a young kid over fear of being wrong. Grant knows exactly what he did and what he is is on the line for. Similar to Rush Limbaugh, I think some of the statements he AND his father make are rude and disrespectful to the players and personnel of the team that I have supported for over 30 years. Moreover, Grant’s week-long episode of arguing with people like you and I as to whether the 49ers were a 4-3 or 3-4 was absurd and childish. He just had to right. Report the news like Barrows and you won’t come off like jackass.

        Truthfully, It feels like I come here to see a car crash and make sure Grant is called out for his factually incorrect information (as much of it is). I don’t come here to have Grant, a 27 yr old who never played college ball, or saw the Niners in their glory days validate what I know, or believe. Clearly, others do. Calling a controversial writer a jackass in a virtual forum is not a reflection anyone. It refects that this is a frigging message board and if people are spending so much time on it that it starts serving as a second family, they need to get a life. That’s all it reflects.


      5. Daniners: “You have zero idea what Jenkins will develop into. Sorry, but football doesn’t work that way. Brandon Lloyd did nothing for us and ended up being a very productive receiver.”—

        Hmmm talk about small sample data points, and selective data. Rashaun Woods is not in your sample, is it? I didn’t think so. He was awful, Jenkins awful, and ended up being released by the Hamilton Cats in 2008. You can see where this is going.

        By the way, Brandon Lloyd turned into a productive receiver, not a “very” productive receiver. He was traded by the Niners. He was released by the Bears, the Skins, and the Pats. He had success with Denver and the Rams–so not exactly a very productive career, is it? Besides, he was a 4th round draft, not a first rounder. His production is commensurate with his draft order….as for Jenkins ;-)

      6. Right Chess, and stating that Baalke is deficient in drafting WR and CB’s after only drafting 4 wr and 3 cb in four years doesn’t support Cohn’s position AT ALL. Especially, when only two from both positions were drafted before the third round. No one with any football smarts would or could make a judgement based on two 7th round cb’s not making a team…they almost never make ANY team. What a joke.

      7. DaNiners,

        I agree with you on most of what you said, but I think Grant just isn’t afraid to throw out opinions more than anything. He’s been wrong more times than he’s been right but he keeps on throwing himself out there. Have to respect that when the majority of us are afraid to give strong opinions on the chance we could be wrong.

    3. Daniners, Grant was just referring to our organizations lack of success with drafting WR and CB for the past several years! I do agree with you that TB has done a decent job since drafting is not an exact science and you are gambling when you pick some of these kids out of college.

      However i do agree with you that Grant gets caught up with his personal feelings rather than writing base on facts and observations. He definitely should learn a few things from Matt Maicocco but again his style is something between his dad and some of the other writers.

    4. My draft grades
      2010: A
      2011: A
      2012: C- (would be an F without LMJ)
      2013: B (lookin good so far, Lattimore will replace Gore eventually)

      1. re:2012
        I sure hope Looney comes around. I don’t mind waiting, like Lattimore (or remember Kevin Fagan?), but wouldn’t want two misses in same crop if AJ fizzles.
        I also hope AJ proves us wrong. Waiting.

      2. Bro Tuna – Amen brotha……Niners will even be more dominant next year with Lattimore, a healthy Crabtree and all those draft picks. I want to go back-to-back bro! Close out the stick with a Super Bowl championship season and break in Levi’s Stadium with a repeat S.B. championship! I’m feeling it!

  19. I’ve GOT IT!!! So if the team doesn’t want to take the Cap hit and pay dead money by cutting AJ, then in PreSeason Game#4 they run him six or seven times in a row on the Fly Sweep. Pfffft! IR guaranteed.

      1. If this about that cancer thing, again was not me.
        Regardless Brotha asking for a player to get injured when these guys lay it on the line with no guaranteed contracts, shows you are the worst joke teller or a sick individual!

    1. I know its tongue in cheek, but as I mentioned in the previous blog the front office would probably love AJ to pick up an injury right about now so they can put him on IR.

    2. Prime
      Jack gets it
      Scooter gets it
      You pretend not to get it. Now you’re Church Lady? Bite me, Prime.We know who you are. It’s OK. Just don’t pretend.

  20. I hope AJ makes it in the NFL because:
    - After the initial shock of skipping Hill and Fleener wore off, I viewed AJs highlights and felt much better. I boasted about his smooth stride, effortless way he turns to catch the ball, his big sticky gecko hands, sneaky good speed and ability to get separation. AJ, don’t make me look bad!
    - The 49ers need a deep threat WR so Kaeps cannon doesn’t go to waste.
    - He ties up alot of unproductive cap space.
    - An effective AJ would send the message to other players that the 49ers really are a “meritocracy.”

  21. My supervisor in the field is a huge New England fan. He is practically wetting himself over Aaron Dobson. He was taken in the second round. I can’t find much hype on him. However, my Supervisor says that the East Coast media is call him the next Randy Moss. Has anyone heard anything about Dobson and if he really is that good, how’d we miss him?

      1. That’s a great article thanks Chess. I’ll float Thompkins past him tomorrow and look like a hero. Thank you again. Maybe it will earn me some time off. :)

  22. Keeping track of the quarterback ratings around the league tonight:
    Green Bay – Aaron Rodgers (113.0)
    Seattle – Russell Wilson (140.0)

    Kaep: two more preseason games… wondering about your stats
    (cumulative) once you wrap it up against Minnesota and San Diego….
    Is it possible that total interceptions will exceed total touchdowns?

    1. What about your boy? Where are Alex’s stats? You said you’re keeping track, but it seems like stats aren’t it, you’re just throwing eggs again.

  23. 2014 Draft Prospects at WR doesn’t look promising. I like Texas A&M wide out Mike Evans but I’m sure he’ll come into the NFL as a TE even if he comes out early and goes into the 2014 draft. That leaves Donte Moncrief as the next best option.
    However, Sf will probably pick up Matthews from Vanderbilt or a shorter faster Kasen Williams or Jared Abbrederis as he is small like Jenkins (188 lbs). No matter what, there doesn’t seem to be great depth at WR 2014 draft. We better figure something out at WR.

  24. Grant , you left some important details in your equation.
    Har-Har is a Walsh man. Studied under the man, and believes in Walsh’s axiom; you got to draft athletes first.
    Har-Har’s axiom is; you got to surprise them, never show your cards.
    I think that’s why we got AJ. He’s an athlete, got big hands, got a decent college record alas he’s missing something. It was JH’s first year and he will NEVER forget this mistake.
    There is no need to beat up the FO or coaches over this, they are doing a much better job of it to themselves right now!

  25. Prime – On a positive note our defense is better than ever bro, despite losing Goldson. The depth is ridiculous now! Harbaugh’s philosophy of “competing” really has paid dividends on the defensive side of the ball. Even with a tough schedule I expect a 12-4 or 13-3 season.
    As Hoferfan says…..Good times!!

  26. Hammer – I watched game this morning, I’m workin on 4th IPA but I’ll give you my thoughts bro.
    Eric Reid will be starting over Dahl week 1, it’s just a courtesy thing with veterans over rookies sometimes. P. Cox, Haralson, Skuta stood out to me.
    I know he’s small but LMJ goes down way too easy sometimes. The Jerod-Eddie helmet to helmet call was piss poor! If that’s the way they’re gonna call it, just put some freaking skirts on the qb’s. Thank you Trent Baalke for getting Phil Dawson.

  27. This column is about the general manager, Trent Baalke. Actually, it’s about the entire 49ers front office, including Jim Harbaugh.

    You’re correct that the Niners have not done well in the WR dept for a long time. But here’s the crux of the situation. Good GMs never hit on 1st rounds picks all the time. Ever. Jenkins has all the signs of being a first round bust. The real deciding factor IMO on a good FO is what they do when they inevitably DO make a mistake. Unless Jenkins pulls a rabbit out of the hat (or two or three) in the last couple weeks of the PS, then I think their competence will be judged by having the guts, and checking their ego at the door, and releasing him.

    It sucks, but their track record is pretty freaking good. I never expect every 1st rounder to be a hit. That never happens. Recognizing when to cut your losses is what distinguishes you from the mediocre GMs.

  28. Crab,
    I miss my ol’ blog friend Hoferfan67. He always brought good insight and perspective.
    Hope we get Hofer and 49erGirl back for the new season. But for now, the blog must go on (lol).

    You mentioned Goldson, and I also feel that we will be better at that position once Reid takes the reins.
    Goldson was on the verge of becoming a liability (imo) because he was more intent on making the big hit rather than playing smart and under control.
    Goldson made a couple of hits in the playoffs and SB where he flew into a crowd that were borderline late hits. Luckily, he was not flagged. But the lack of discipline in his game was really beginning to show.

    We know that Reid can make the big hit, but I like that he shows discipline and control more then the hitting.
    Once he becomes acclimated to the speed of the NFL and learns to take the proper angles, he could very well be a pro-bowl type player for us.
    Here’s another one for Hofer: “Good times!”

    1. AES – Good post as always. Ninergirl posted in here once about a week ago. She’ll be poppin in when reg season starts.
      I can’t wait til Manningham gets back, he is almost as good as Crabtree (when healthy IMO). Mario will take over #2 spot after a couple games under his belt.
      Yeah I miss Hoferfan too….I really think he was a liitle heartbroken over the CK/Alex scenario. He will be back though.
      Btw, I checked Mario Manninham’s twitter today to see if he mentioned anything about his progress and I swear I can’t understand what the hell he’s saying in most tweets. LOL

  29. at this point I’m tired of hearing about AJ if he doesn’t pan out just let fade into oblivion. we have more important things to worry about than a potentially blown pick, whose fault it is and what scout needs to be relieved of their duties. lets look at the glass half full and focus on the players who are taking advantage of this opportunity.

  30. Historically WR in the NFL draft is full of perils. I found an article written before the 2011 draft written by John McTigue for ESPN. Here’s just one of his paragraphs that I feel exemplifies those perils for all teams, not just the 49ers.: “The 40 first-round picks since 2001 have combined to play 199 seasons in the NFL. Only 41 of those 199 seasons (20.6 percent) saw the receiver eclipse 1,000 receiving yards. Only 17 of the 40 receivers have registered a 1,000-yard season and just nine have done it more than once.”

    How many failures did the Lions have in a row before they scored by drafting Calvin Johnson. In 2003 they drafted Charles Rogers with the 2nd pick, in 2004 they drafted Roy Williams with the 7th pick and in 2005 they drafted Mike Williams with the 10th pick. Roy Williams was decent, but nothing special and the other two players never amounted to anything in the NFL. That’s three massive failures in a row. All within the top 10.

    Drafting wide outs is dangerous more often than not. The Niners aren’t worse than others at it. They’re right about par for the course. Baalke has only drafted four receivers during his tenure. Three of them are still on the team and looking to make their mark. AJ Jenkins, Kyle Williams and Quinton Patton. One is a rookie and one is a 2nd year player. There’s still a lot of potential there.

    1. Dan the 49er Fan,
      Nice piece.
      Drafting a WR high is almost as risky as drafting a CB with a high pick.

      JJ Stokes was a man among boys at UCLA, but never translated that skill level in the pros. If I recall, he was supposed to be the heir apparent to J.Rice. As it turns out, the receiver we chose in the later rounds became the go-to WR: Terrell Owens.

      Rashaun Woods also put up great numbers in college, but flamed-out in the pros.

      On the CB side, R.W. McQuarters, Mike Rumph, and Ahmad Plummer picked in the 1st rd. A.Plummer was serviceable, but nothing special. Rumph was a complete wash-out, and McQuarters only gave us a little value as a Returner.

      Back to WR’.
      From what I saw of AJ’ college highlights, he reminded me of the former Minn. Vikings Anthony Carter. Almost the same body-type and ease of motion like AC had.
      But AC had a passion for the game. He would fearlessly challenge for the catch when the ball came his way.
      That is what is missing from AJ’ game right now.

      Here’s a message for AJ:
      No passion, courage, and hunger; no glory!

  31. To wish for a player to become injured so they can IR them, well is just wrong. To wish for a player to become injured to cover up a possible bad draft selection is just wrong. If I thought for one second that the front office felt this way I would drop the Niners in a heartbeat. I have been a fan of the Niners longer then most of you been alive. Yup football has changed and so has the fan. Hammer, Brotha, and Scooter, the three of you usually bring insightfulness to this blog, are way off the mark. Its a chicken s–t way out of a problem.

      1. Jack there is tongue and cheek but when it comes to injuries in football then it’s kinda a bad omen when discussing.
        Like I said, these guys play a violent game, no guaranteed contracts, and a career that has a very small window in which to participate in.
        It’s okay,we all say stupid things on here, you included. The righteousness needs to be toned down friend. You are really not that special from everyone else.

    1. Undercenter, that whole thread was tongue-in-cheek. A cynical solution to a problem. I don’t wish AJ to get hurt, and I’m sure the front office doesn’t actually wish that on AJ either.

      However, it would solve their sticky situation quite neatly. If it were to happen, I imagine the front office would see the silver lining.

  32. Our front office is bombing the draft offensively. I was hoping we’d pick up Lacy. He’s going to be a handful to take down week 1. We could have had a punishing bruising back in Lacy (from the SEC and a championship caliber team. Saban can really coach players). Who’d we get? That’s right, the bionic man…Lattimore. The jury is out for another 4 years by this blog’s standards. He won’t play this year. That means next year he’ll be a rookie. Then, we’ll hear that a player needs 2-3 years on the field before he is labeled a bust. That means if he is good, it will be just in time to collect a lucrative contract. Couldn’t we have accomplished the same thing by signing him as a free agent four years from now? (I’m a little bitter)

    Seattle is also kicking our tails when it comes to drafting WRs. Carroll likes big strong receivers. They have Rice(FA pick up at 6’4″ 202), Tate (5’10 202), Kearse (6’2″ 208lbs), Williams (6’5″ 208 lbs.) and Harper (6’1″ 234 lbs.). It’s going to be a tough matchup for our CBs without a drug test…

    Draft advise for 2014: This front office should trust what they see on the field offensively from the SEC. The defensive players we’ve gotten out of the SEC are playing up to expectations. Let’s avoid Boise State, Illinios, and other subpar schools. (I was banging my head against the wall when we passed on the Honey badger. Hard to believe he wouldn’t have been an immediate upgrade to our secondary. )

    1. Latimore was a Risk/Reward pick. When healthy he wasnt just good, he was dominant in your Beloved SEC. Think Adrian Peterson like. Second, running backs dont take 3 years to develop most of the really good running backs start and play well immediately. That would be next year for us.
      Think we can sign Doug Martin in 3 years as an unrestricted free agent?

      1. Let’s break down that argument. Lattimore Rushed for 110 yards 2 tds against Vanderbilt. A team that allows 204 rushing yards a game and finished 2-10 in 2010, 6-7 in 2011 with a 2-6 against SEC opponents, and a 9-4 record in 2012.
        He ran for 120 yards against Kentucky. (2-10). He ran well against teams he should have ran well against.
        Eddie Lacy destroyed Lattimore’s stats. He averaged 7.3, 7.6 and 6.7 yards per carry.
        Lattimore’s stats during the same period of time, 5.8, 5.5, 4.9. That’s hardly “dominant” in the SEC. Dominant was Lacy who was running over the same opponents for 2 more yards a carry.

      2. I wouldn’t want Doug Martin. I think there are much better prospects coming out of college than what will be left of Doug Martin in 3 years. It’s a lot like buying a Subaru. You definitely want a WRX new and not used.

      3. In a perfect world, they would have been behind the same line. However, the only comparison I can make is how each runner ran against the same teams. Both lines made holes and once you get past yard 1, the lines are irrelevant. It becomes a comparison of backs.

        We are all aware that Green Bay has a very poor run blocking scheme. Yet, this back is tearing it up regardless of the line. So what’s your point? That Lacy would be even better behind our line?

        AES made a valid point on the other hand about spin techniques. I’m interested and hopeful that SF can exploit that.

      4. Matt,

        You’re joking when you say once you get one yard past the LOS, O-lines cease to matter, right?

        A good O-line will move the LOS down field, gaining a RB yards, automatically. Not to mention the increased second level blocking a RB will get from a superior O-line.

      5. Matt,
        From an article by Eric Branch.

        As a true freshman playing in the SEC he earned various All-American honors, was a consensus choice for National Freshman of the Year, and broke a 23-year-old school record for rushing touchdowns and inspired sentences you had read twice like this: In a 36-14 win at Florida, the 19-year-old outgained (243-226) and outscored (18-14) the No. 24 Gators.

      1. Matt,
        Nice running by Lacy. He will be a beast along the lines of Marshawn Lynch.

        My only concern on Lacy is his penchant for spinning out of tackles. The spin looks like his signature move and it certain was his bread-n-butter in college.
        I’m not convinced that he will find success with that move in the pros.
        I see him coughing up the ball due to the spin move in the pros once defenses plan for it and use a secondary player (tackler) for the sole purpose of ripping the ball away.

        It will be interesting to see how many fumbles he has this season created in part by his signature move.

    2. Also, I find it hard to compare the Vanderbuilt games… considering that was his first game played since major reconstructive surgery. He would still be testing the waters at that point.

  33. The title of this column is disingenuous. It’s makes it seem like the front office has had a run of bad luck drafting WR’s. There’s a big difference between not catching a break and not drafting well. The Niners haven’t drafted well at the WR position. Granted (see what I did there), while it’s a difficult position to draft, the entire league has difficulties with it.
    But let’s look a little deeper. Why hasn’t the front office done more? Why haven’t they gone the Matt Millen route and drafted multiple WR high in draft until they hit on one? Simple, it’s not their philosophy. Their offense is predicated on a physical rushing attack. In the HarBaalke regime, there has been an emphasis on offensive line and the rushing attack, that’s why the Niners were went from #19, to #8, to #4 in the NFL. Plus, in case you haven’t noticed, they went from a losing record to the Super Bowl. They must do a better job at the position, but when you step back and look at the body of work, the front office has done an outstanding job creating a great rushing attack, a great defense, and managed to keep the core team together. I, personally, would rather go to the playoffs every year than nitpick about a low priority position group. Think about it, we have bigger problems with special teams than WR right now.

  34. Guys,
    His sample size was bigger than 4 years.

    This wasnt an indictment piece on Baalke or Harbaugh… It was an indictment of the whole scouting Department which currently includes Baalke as the head of it. I have long argued the same thing… And while I understand that WR is a risky position to draft its not impossible and we shouldn’t only be landing one good receiver every 10 years. To date the team has had bad luck and failed to identify even mediocre WR talent as a whole. Think about this outside of Crabtree, in the last 10 years, who have the niners drafted at wr that would even be considered an average NFL caliber starting receiver?

    1. They have not had a big-play guy who can consistently run by and scare DB’s since Antonio Bryant had that good year for them, what was that, 8 years ago? Nobody like him before or since, Braylon was a bust…

  35. Bobby Wagner rings Peyton’s bell, but he answers with a TD. Wilson is getting rid of the ball quicker than quick. Like 1.5 seconds or less. Bump and Run and pocket containment pressure might be an effective strategy….

  36. I think you’re being overly critical of the Niner’s WR selections.

    I think J.J. Stokes gets unfairly cast as a bust. He had a very solid career. His problem is that he was selected in the 1st round and was hyped to be a Micheal Irvin type (big bodied) WR replacement for an aging Jerry Rice. Stokes had a solid career. That’s not a bad thing for a 1st round pick WR.

    Brandon Lloyd has had a solid and even sometimes good career. His career with the 49ers mostly coincided with the franchises 04 decedent to the bottom of the league.

    Tai Streets was a talented 3rd WR for a while. I think he had injury problems with the Lions.

    Cedric Wilson was a decent slot receiver for a couple of years.

    Arnaz Battle was a productive receiver for some very bad 49er teams. I think he was a good pick. I don’t know if he was very talented as a WR but he also had some really poor QB

    Josh Morgan was productive for some un-QB friendly 49er teams and is currently a starter for Washington. So I think he was a pretty good pick.

    Yes, the Niners haven’t found an elite star WR since Owens after the 1st Round (assuming Crabtree continues to develop). But how many teams can make that claim?

    Think of how many teams continue to bust on the QB position in the draft. Draft busts are far more common than most people realize. a 1st round pick has a much higher chance of being an average player or a bust than an )elite player. obviously that goes even more so for the later rounds. You mention how the Niners have drafted well with O and D linemen. Well, those positions seem to be easier to evaluate for all teams. They’re usually considered “safer” picks in the 1st round (especially O-linemen). So is the Niner’s WR draft record that significantly insufficient compared to other teams?

    1. AFFAP,
      I agree with most of your assessment accept on JJ Stokes. He did not have a “solid career” when given his draft status and the Org’s vision for him.

      Stokes was mediocre at best. Mediocrity may be ok for 3-5 rd player, but not a 1st rd pick.
      JJ’ best season was 63 rec, 770 yrds, and 8 TD’s. He was released by the 49ers in 2003 and had pedestrian numbers at Jacksonville after that.

      Today (if he were playing) JJ would be a #3 WR at best.

      1. you missed my point.

        most 1st round receivers are lucky to become mediocre NFL players. Stokes played for something like 7- 8 years I think. that’s a solid if unspectacular career.

        the “org’s vision” and Stoke’s draft status are IRRELEVANT to the objective reality of the success rate of WRs drafted in the 1st round.

  37. To proclaim a player is a bust, while self gratifying, even for an expert, evaluating a football team from the outside is tough.

  38. I think that WR & QB go hand n hand. The niners have had less than great QB’s since Young. Now we have CK7 n he will bring the best out of the WR’s. IMO AJ Jenkins doesn’t have the heart to be an NFL level player witch I believe is the most important trait. (See Wes Welker). I believe Quinton Patton will be great for that reason. See what kap did for crabtree that Alex could not.What do y’all think?

    1. Good, point. Look at Brandon Marshall. Good with Cutler in Denver. Forgotten about in Miami with….????…….whatever QB. Now paired with Cutler again, in Chicago, he’s a top 3 WR!
      My stance on The WR problem: Kap is so good, that he will spread the ball around, firing lasers on the money, and we will have a bunch of guys in the 30-60 catch range and Crabb will not be missed.
      Evidence: great QB’s elevate the WR group tremendously. A.Rodgers. Brady, Brees and P.Manning all just keep putting up crazy numbers despite constant turnover at that position. When one WR goes down or moves on, they make a star out of another. And they have never relied on a superstar caliber guy for very long( Brady had moss for a few years).

  39. I think it’s interesting how the niners have used Jenkins. We all know his biggest weakness is getting off press coverage, yet they continue to line him up at split-end against press coverage and let him work.

    Do they like Jenkins and just want him to work on this part of his game? If they were concerned about his confidence wouldn’t the coaches work schematically to get him a free release from scrimmage? It’s pretty easy to do, you can stack receivers, bunch them or send them in motion. We see almost none of that with A.J.

    Now we all know Harbaugh and Roman go vanilla in the pre-season, but once the regular season starts and they need Jenkins to produce, will they do some scheming to get him free? Will they even give him the opportunity to get on the field? I can’t help but think A.J. might have more success on another team.

    1. Also ,slightly off topic, did anyone else think Anthony Dixon looked terrible as a Fullback? I hope I never see him there in the regular season.

      1. Good question Grimey. Sean Smith is going to have an edge over a lot of WR’s never mind one on the thinner side like Jenkins. Not sure why they aren’t playing him at Flanker or even in the slot.

  40. My issue with the Niners is that they fail to draft big, strong WRs who seem to be more durable and pose a bigger threat in the red zone. When was the last time they drafted a guy 6’4 and taller for the position? Crabs comes close, but I’m talking Vincent Jackson/Brandon Marshall/Larry Fitzgerald big and strong. Two of those guys were drafted out of the first round Marshall (4th) and Jackson (2nd). During this past draft, Rodney Smith (6’5) was there for the taking. He had an impressive catch for a TD two nights ago for the Vikings, who signed him as a UDFA. That’s one more TD than AJ Jenkins has scored in two seasons.

    1. This is not in defense of Jenkins, but just to keep it factual. Jenkins did catch a TD in preseason last year, so at this point Rodney Smith and him are tied as far as preseason TD stats go. But why even bring up preseason stats as an argument for or against a player? Jenkins was the 49ers leading WR in receptions last preseason and that turned out to be a meaningless stat, right?

      Also, Jenkins hasn’t played his second season yet. This is his second preseason.

  41. UPDATE on Manningham…….

    49ers placed WR Mario Manningham (ACL, PCL surgery) on the reserve/PUP list.
    Reserve/PUP will sideline Manningham for the season’s first six games. He’ll be eligible to return in Week 7 against the Titans. Manningham, 27, tore the two knee ligaments in Week 16 of last year and hasn’t participated in any football activities since.

  42. AJ Jenkins would have success on another team in fact other teams. Their names are as follows; The Alouettes, Argonauts. Tiger-Cats, Eskimos and Stampede.

  43. In the next couple weeks look for them to try Jenkins in various roles including returning kicks.

    BJ Daniels will be getting increased reps at QB, equal to those of McCoy and Tolzien.

    Eric Reid getting more looks with the starters, maybe even a start.

  44. This column is so cynical and ridiculous. This team was irrelevant for such a long time, with horrific coaches led by Mike and Mike, we were a few yards away of winning our first Super Bowl in 13 years Last time I checked Baalke and Harbaugh were recognized as the best coach and GM in the league two years ago. So big freaking deal, Baalke made a possible bad pick with Jenkins, this will be determined this season. Let’s nail the guy on the cross.

    1. Well put, Neal. Considering the state of the franchise for the better part of the 2000′s, I’ll take the situation they are in now struggling to find stud receivers and winning a lot of games.

  45. Neal, I think you aren’t seeing the big picture. When the Niners needed a WR most, the stretch run of the 2011 playoffs, they were bringing guys like Brett Swain off the street. They kicked Braylon Edwards to the curb. They were painfully thin and it bit them in the ass.

    1. I agree RPM, it was a bad decision putting Swain on the playing field and not getting better receivers but Edwards was not the answer.

  46. The fact that Jenkins couldn’t even get to around 205 lbs in over a year in the NFL tells me he doesn’t get it. There is no reason for him not being significantly stronger and bigger at this point. It might not have made him a significantly better receiver, but at least you would know that he had worked extremely hard to maximize his natural ability and overcome one of his weaknesses. I’ve been supportive of him, but its obvious that he hasn’t worked hard enough and it reflects in his play. I could see him eventually becoming a competent NFL WR, but it may not be until he is with another team. They need to find somebody who can effectively evaluate receivers in the draft, and perhaps put greater emphasis on the position considering downfield passes are one of your QB’s strengths.

    1. Big P.
      I have high hopes for AJ and think he can still be serviceable. I just don’t believe that he will be an eventual #1 or even #2 for that matter.
      If he settles in as an average #3 type WR it will not justify his 1st rd draft status.

      What gives me even more concern is that there is no guarantee that Crabtree will ever regain his pre-injury form once he returns. Boldin can’t keep playing forever, and as of now, AJ can’t be counted on to secure a starting position.

      I’m starting to pin my #2 WR hopes on Williiams, Moore, Collie, Patton, Hall, Jacobs, and Lockette. I like Osgood’ size, but he hasn’t shown much to this point.

      I’m frustrated/disappointed that AJ hasn’t stepped up to secure a position that has been pretty much gift wrapped for him.

      1. AES, I hear you and agree. I have been supportive of Jenkins and still hope to see a breakthrough, I just don’t anticipate that happening based upon what I’ve seen so far from him. Considering the Crabtree injury, it’s even more frustrating that he hasn’t solidified a role for himself.

  47. Ahh yes the typical preseason panic declarations from fans and articles painting a bleak picture. I always enjoy reading them.


    AJ Jenkins is not getting cut. He’s a second year guy they saw enough talent in to use a first round pick on, and you don’t give up on a first round pick after one year. He’s also not going on the practice squad because he’d never clear waivers. The Niners will have their pick of Hall, Collie, Osgood and Hawkins later in the season if they are needed, and at least three are going to be cut. My guess right now is they keep: Boldin, Williams, Moore, Jenkins, Collie and Patton.

    As to the angle of this article, the current front office/HC have drafted 3 WR’s and two are still on the team(Williams was drafted by Baalke but not with Harbaugh). They have not drafted any CB’s in the first two rounds and other than Culliver, have not used a pick in the first two days on the position. It’s pointless to make an assertion that a team can’t draft a position when they haven’t made a concerted effort to do so. There is this other area of player acquisition called FA and trade which the Niners have done pretty well in, so it has tempered the need to draft for them.

    Baalke and Harbaugh are by no means perfect but in two years together the Niners have gone from laughing stock to SB appearance and no team in this league has done a better job of player acquisition in the time these guys have been together. Appreciate what you are seeing right now people because few teams operate at this level and the Niners went a decade before finding a competent front office and Coaching staff.

    1. This is for those preaching patience with Jenkins, who say he can still develop into something. By now we should have seen some flash from the guy.

      Jenkins was taken with the 30th pick so let’s compare his progress so far to the 36th pick from 2011, Colin Kaepernick.

      In his first year Kaepernick played in 1 game, against Tampa Bay. In that game he showed he was competent, going 3-5 in 4th quarter mop up duty. Flash number 1.

      In Jenkins first year he got into multiple games and could muster only 1 target, and he dropped it.

      On to year 2, it is well known that players make their biggest improvements from year 1 to 2. This was immediately evident with Kaepernick when he blasted Minnesota for a 78 yard TD run. There was flash number 2. He followed that up by going a combined 16-22 for 238 yards over the final 2 preseason games. Flash number 3.

      As we now wait for preseason game number 3 we are all waiting for a single flash from Jenkins. Through the first 2 games he has been targeted only 5 times despite playing the most snaps of any 49ers WR. Those 5 targets have resulted in 1 completion, which ended in a fumble, and 2 interceptions.

      Maybe game 3 will be his time to finally flash. Don’t hold your breath.

      1. He was active for three games Jack. He was targeted once. He’s in his second training camp and nobody has stood out at WR save for Moore in practice. I’d love to see more from him, but the fact is some players take longer than others and I would be floored if they cut Jenkins this early in favor of injury prone vets or borderline NFL talent that has done nothing in previous stops in the league. He may turn out to be the bust you think he is, but I don’t think they’ll make that determination this quickly.

        One thing that is really tough to figure out is they don’t seem to run the plays in games that he is successful on in practice. Combine that with playing him on the LOS at split end and you are pretty much laying the ground work for him to struggle. I don’t know if they are just trying to work with him on his weakness’ but at this point I think you need to get the kid some confidence and run some drag routes in a game for him or put him in position to make a few easy catches. Going one on one with a guy 3 inches taller and 25 LB’s heavier isn’t the best recipe for success right now imo.

      2. 3 games qualifies as multiple Rocket. Nowhere in my comment did I say he would be cut.

        With practices now closed we won’t get any info on how he is doing in practice. Let’s see what happens in game 3.

      3. That’s not what you were insinuating Jack. When you say Multiple you are trying to portray he’s had multiple opportunities. Jenkins has not.

        You didn’t say cut in this post, but you’ve been leaning in that direction for some time now based on your opinions on the subject.

        I’m no Jenkins fan by any means, but the mentality some have in here is head shaking to say the least. You have to give a young player more time and opportunity than Jenkins has had before making a judgment that he is useless and has no future like some in here have done already.

      4. Rocket,

        I wasn’t insinuating anything. The definition of multiple is having, relating to, or consisting of more than one individual, element, part, or other component. He played in 3 games so it is multiple games, compared to a single game for Kaepernick in 2011.

        As for me leaning towards them cutting Jenkins you are again mistaken. Just a few days ago I listed him as one of the WR’s I for sure see them keeping and was questioned on it by Prime.

      5. OK Jack. It didn’t seem like you were leaning that way, but if you are I stand corrected. I haven’t read all the posts from the past few days yet.

    2. “and you don’t give up on a first round pick after one year.”—

      A year, 2 training camps, tens of training sessions, lots of game preparations, etc, etc…and zero catches. If he was a 7th round pick, that would be acceptable..no?

      The writing was on the wall when he was benched last year in favor of a practice squad player, Hall. Keep in mind that at that time the Niners were desperate for a 3rd wide out. Manning and Williams were lost for the season and it was natural for Jenkins to take their place. Jenkins was not longer a luxury pick, but a player the Niners needed to get on the field and contribute. The team tried him during practices, and in a few games, to no avail, so they benched him.

      The same thing happened at RB. Hunter went down for the season, and the Niners needed a replacement. LaMichael James was ready to enter the game and contribute in a big way. He blocked, he ran, and he caught the ball out of the backfield. He was competitive.

      The Niners haven’t given up on Jenkins because of the contractual (financial) obligations, but in many ways they have already given up on him: they know they can’t trust him to make a catch…just a catch. So they’ll keep him until his contract runs out, and in the meantime, PS players will continue to take his place in the field.

      1. He’s not a 7th round pick; that’s the point you and many others are missing. You select a player in the first round because the talent you see on film dictates it. A first round pick will get more rope because his talent level is that of a player who could make an impact in the league.

        As I said above, players mature at different rates and you cannot draw a final conclusion on a kid who has played in 3 regular season games and is currently in his second TC. It would be a stupid move to cut a player like that in favor of a journeyman like Chad Hall or Kassim Osgoode who will most likely be looking for work later in the season if you need them.

        This time of year really plays with peoples heads. A year ago at this time a large number of “GM’s” were wanting Kyle Williams thrown on the first bus out of town because he was terrible, cost the Niners the shot at a SB etc. etc. Now he’s the guy most of those same people are hanging their hopes on to be the 2nd WR. Fans sit in the stands for a reason.

      2. Chess GM says:

        “The Niners haven’t given up on Jenkins because of the contractual (financial) obligations, but in many ways they have already given up on him: they know they can’t trust him to make a catch…just a catch. So they’ll keep him until his contract runs out, and in the meantime, PS players will continue to take his place in the field.”

        Well, since no 1st round pick has been cut this century and only one during the 90′s, it’s either they all didn’t do it for cap reasons, or they kept them for the reason Rocket explained which sounds a bit more plausible.

        And where are you getting this inside track information on the 49ers “giving up” on him? When you give up on a player, they don’t get the most reps against the #1′s. They play against the scrubs in the last quarter. Maybe.

        I’m as disappointed with what has been going on with Jenkins as well, but I don’t think that him being around this season will be based on the cap.

      3. Rocket,

        I see what Jack is saying but I’m closer to agreeing with you on the subject, blah, blah, blah, etc.

        What I really find interesting, is that you’re going all “Prince” on us. How many times are you going to change your name?

  48. AFFAP:
    “the “org’s vision” and Stoke’s draft status are IRRELEVANT to the objective reality of the success rate of WRs drafted in the 1st round.”

    The Org’ vision for a player being drafted is both crucial and very relevant.
    The objective reality is what occurred during Stokes’ career. But the Org’s vision for JJ on draft day was for him the eventually replace J.Rice.

    I don’t believe that anyone expected him to put up J.Rice type numbers. Jerry Rice was/is in a class all to himself.
    But falling behind T.O. as the 2nd best WR on our team was certainly not the objective reality that the team was hoping for.
    JJ was an enigma imo.
    JJ’ career was similar to that of Mike Williams (USC). All the measurable’s were there, and coaches thought they could somehow get into their head and recapture the fire and skill that both players had while in college.
    Perhaps that is why they lasted in the league for as long as they did.

  49. I think in the Harbaugh era…Roman doesnt really know how to use a wide receiver in this scheme ..which is running back/o-line/Tight end friendly..So the mindset is..we can get any ole wr and it’ll work.. also the team doesn’t know what it’s true offensive identity is..We’re still kinda transitioning and auditioning wr’s for the Kap era..So that can hurt Continuity..Were gonna find out this yr as it goes along. We got alotta speed on this team..

  50. Grant,

    I see what you mean about the orginization not being able to draft WR. After all, they’ve drafted a dozen and half WRs over the last four years….
    What’s that? They haven’t? Well, it’s been at least ten to twelve, right? No?
    Ten? Eight? Six? No? What the hell! It’s got to be at least five. Can’t be any less, if it is, it’ll start to make those geeky guys who talk about small sample sizes and math and facts and stuff some credence.

    It is less? WTF?! Well exactly how many WRs HAVE the 49ers drafted in the last four years? Four?! That’s it? Shoot, Grant. That isn’t very many. At least they’re all out of football, right? That fact gives your article some credibiltiy. Phew, that was close, with the 49ers only drafting four WRs in the last four years, and all.

    What? Only Ron Johnson is out of the NFL? And he was a six round pick? Well everyone knows that most sixth rounders have a long and productive NFL careers, and ……. What’s that? Very few sixth rounders have any impact in the NFL? Hmm, I guess that’s true.

    Well, at least the 49ers didn’t find any other NFL quality WR in the sixth round in the last four years, right? What’s that? They did? Kyle Williams? Oh, yeah, he did look pretty good before he tore up his knee last year. But that’s only one of the four WRs the 49ers drafted from 2010 forward still in the NFL, right? The other three are out of the NFL, right? No?

    That’s right, Patton is still on the team, he’s only a rookie and he’s had a broken finger, so we really have no idea what he can do.

    Hmmm, but that Jenkins kid who’s first round draft status made you apoplectic, er, hopping mad, er, mildly annoyed, isn’t doing much after three years in the NFL. What? He hasn’t been in the league three years? Two? No? Only one? Well, let’s just assume he’s a bust.

    Yep, Baalke and Harbaugh are without a doubt, and beyond a question, horrible at identifying WRs. I mean really, they have one sixth round pick out of the league and a late first round pick struggling in his second training camp. How much worse could you do with picking WRs, any way?

    1. How many probowl receivers are on the field for SF right now? (Crabtree’s injured, Boldin hasn’t seen the field in a regular season game so let’s not count him yet either.) Isn’t receiver a need for this team? I thought the point of the draft was to fill needs.
      Since your whole thesis of the dressing down you’re doing to the owner of this blog that you frequent consistently to ridicule and scorn is that AJ Jenkins is not a bust, does that mean you’ll ban yourself if he is cut from the team? Probably not. So, before you hit enter next time, take a deep breath. Locate the delete button. Hit it. Hit it hard and often. That is your best weapon.
      When you talk about credibility, here’s credibility. Grant called the JJ cut last season. Even after the 4th preseason game when we were all high on him.
      He said Kaepernick would be something special. During which time (you and I included) the blog was going on and on about how Kaepernick wasn’t going to be productive coming in to play the read option. Whoops. We really missed there.
      (If you’re keeping track, we’re both 0-2. Grant is 2-0.)
      He said AJ would not perform and didn’t have the mentality to compete last season. Um, score keeper, that’s 3 for 3.
      Continuing on, the rest of us took wild shots at who’d make the team and I don’t believe anyone other than Hofer was also 3 for 3.
      He predicted Celek would make the team. WOW. Yeah, I’d say his credibility during the preseason is just a tad bit higher than anything you or I are offering. Dadgummit.

    2. They could’ve had Doug Baldwin instead of RonJon. That’s a mistake. Especially since Harbaugh coached Baldwin.

      1. That’s true, Grimey.

        My point isn’t that the 49er FO is perfect, just that it’s silly to say that they can’t choose WRs after only four years, and especially in the face of what they have done in regards to putting pretty good WRs on the field.

    3. Matt,

      Nice reading comprehension.

      I never said, or implied, in my comment that Grant doesn’t have credibility. I implied that this particular post, on the particular subject of 49ers FO ability in choosing WRs, lacks credibility.

      My point was that Grant makes overreaching, blanket statements some times. IMO, this is one of those times. It’s way too early in their team building career to lable Baalke and Harbaugh as unable to draft WRs. Especially when they MAY have only missed on ONE WR that was a high draft pick. I do agree, things don’t look good for the NFL career of AJJ, but the fact remains, he’s only had one year.

      Additionally, TB and JH have only drafted four WRs, with two of those in the sixth round, one in the fourth and one in the first.

      Had the 49ers chosen a WR in the first or second round in each of the drafts, then maybe you could make a case for TB and JH not being good WR evaluators. Having used a one, a four and two sixes, and coming away with an incomplete with down arrow (AJJ, 1st), a useful NFL WR (KW, 6th), another incomplete with an up arrow (QP, 4th), and a player out of the NFL (RJ, 6th).

      As it stands, that’s not great, but it’s not disatrous, either.

      On top of that, the FO got Boldin and Manningham for cheap. That doesn’t seem like a bad record on WRs, IMO.

      BTW, how can you just ignore Boldin and Crabtree? I don’t think too many teams would feel bad about a tandem of Boldin and Crabtree, do you? Sure, Carbtree is injured, but certainly you’re not saying that TB and JH should’ve know this would happen, are you?

    4. Matt,

      Please find any comment on this blog in which I said CK wouldn’t be productive. I’ve been a big fan of CK’s from the beginning, and was excited when the 49ers drafted him. Partly because I saw him play at Nevada Reno, but mostly because JH and TB chose him.

      Kudos to Grant for saying CK would be a special player.

      1. exgolfer says:

        August 3, 2012 at 2:39 pm

        The 49ers should cut TG (Ted Ginn) and MC (Michael Crabtree) and go with Napalm and AJJ. It’s really the only thing that makes sense.

        Your Kaepernick comment is about a week after when we’re all talking about the spread offense and why it won’t work for 8-10 plays.

        I did notice in looking it up that you’re more interested in taking shots at people than contributing to football conversations. I’ll just remind you that while we’re all passionate about our team, we are still rooting for the same team.

        I also found this bet by Prime and wanted to give credit where it was due to Jack:

        Prime Time says:
        August 11, 2012 at 6:29 pm
        “AES, your a bigger idiot than I thought if you believe everything Harbaugh says. Is that it or are you truly blinded and believe Crabtree is a true #1?”

        Jack Hammer says:

        August 12, 2012 at 5:15 pm

        Watch the game tonight on NFL Network at 6 pacific. Regardless of the weapons, you will see a QB with the ability to go through his progression quickly, is poised in the pocket, able to avoid the rush while keeping his eyes downfield, is accurate, and as I predicted on here during day 2 of the draft will lead the Colts to the playoffs this year.

        Prime Time says:

        August 12, 2012 at 5:19 pm
        Care to place a wager on that?

        That wager was made and Prime has to be on this blog saying how great Crabtree is. It’s funny to go back and see how we were all a little rambunctious about our team.

      2. Matt,

        I don’t believe that’s a comment by me.

        Please provide me with the title and date of Grant’s blog post that this comment appears under. I would like to see for myself.

        I would never have written (at least, not seriously) that the 49ers should cut Crabtree in favor of Palmer and AJJ. How would it have made any sense for the 49ers to cut Crabtree at this time last year?

      3. Matt,

        Here is the exchange in context (context is something that helps provide a complete understanding of a comment):

        “rocket says:
        August 3, 2012 at 9:45 am
        Nathan Palmer is our best WR so far…after 5 practices…. and he hasn’t even played in an actual game yet. Cut Crabtree, Cut Ginn, go with all undrafted FA WR’s to save cap space. This board amuses me.”

        ” exgolfer says:
        August 3, 2012 at 2:39 pm

        As usual, you are right on the money. The 49ers should cut TG and MC and go with Napalm and AJJ. It’s really the only thing that makes sense.”

        Either your issues with comprehension are deeper than I though, or you’re dishonest. Which is it?

  51. In other WR news; The Bills have released Terrell Sinkfield the 4.1 40 speed WR.
    I see someone taking a flier on him soon.

  52. Time is running out on A.J. Worse, much worse than time, one can never learn a work ethic overnight. He likes the cameras fine, but he’d rather be somewhere else. He should have built more muscle and worked very hard during the off season.

  53. This is the first time they’ve drafted a WR with their first since Crabtree.
    They have done an excellent job drafting for need since balkee’ has been here. 1 bad high pick at WR and his only one, and he’s no good at WR drafting? It’s not like they’ve had #1 picks in the first 5 to get the best player coming out of college. I think this is the first draft they really concentrated on the WR position. Lets see how these guys turn out before labeling the front office draft dummies for wr’s. and IMO the kids he drafted this season will pay off.
    Take the finger off the panic button. If it was easy to find a stud WR in the draft every team would have a fitz or megatron.
    Or a Fleener…. Oops my bad. Lol

    1. Nick,

      This is interesting, but you know that kind of list can be made for pretty much any NFL team, right?

      IMO, the only year that might indicate a lack of ability in WR evaluation, is 2012, and that’s only if this pattern repeats itself. The AJJ selection could simply be an outlier.

  54. Here’s some history – for those who don’t remember. Baalke has been directly involved in personnel decisions since 2008.

    Director of Player Personnel (2008-2009)
    VP of Player Personnel (2010)
    General Manager (2011-present)

    One thing people forget is the wide receviers that the 49ers passed up not just the ones they drafted.

    They pass on DeSean Jackson to select Kentwan Balmer and Chilo Rachal.

    Yes, they did get Michael Crabtree, but passed on
    Percy Harvin 
    Hakeem Nicks 
    Kenny Britt 
    Mike Wallace
    Jeremy Maclin 

    Nothing notable … passed on TE Jimmy Graham in the 2nd round to take Taylor Mays.

    Ronald Johnson was a flopp, but he was a 6th round pick, so no big deal.

    By picking AJ Jenkins, the 49ers passed on
    Stephen Hill
    Alshon Jeffery
    Rueben Randle
    T.J. Graham
    Mohamed Sanu
    T.Y. Hilton
    Chris Givens.

  55. Cohn got what he wanted, Jenkins is gone. Traded to KC for another guy who was deemed a bust. Why? Both teams probably figured the critics have made it impossible for either player to be successful. It’s called getting a fresh start. Good news for us, A Smith will not make Jenkins any better. Kaepernick will likely make Baldwin better…how much, we will see.

  56. I want to say thanks to moon Spell Temple for everything so far. To everyone who doesn’t believe in spell, I was one of those ones at first. I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to do this since I’ve tried others so-called spells casters and they did not work and was a waste of my time and money. However, when I read through the testimonials of other people at this website and after I talked to Dr moon who answered all my questions and was very nice about everything, I decided to give it a try. I figured it would be my last try to get my guy back. So my story is that I was at my office when the guy I am in love with told me that he wasn’t in love with me and never will be and that he didn’t want to speak or see me again, especially since he was talking to this other girl. When I talked to Dr moon, he let me know which spells would be most appropriate for me and I chose the ones that was to get him back to me and stay with me and want to marry me. As soon as he started on the spells, my guy came back into my life! It was a miracle to me and I’m so thankful for that. Things have been going well, and pretty much according to what Dr moon said would happen. He’s always there when you need him and that’s also after the spell is done. I’m still waiting for the spells to completely manifest, but with all that has happened so far I’m very happy because given only four months ago in March, if you asked me or my friends if I would have anticipated how things were right now…no one would believe it! Lara. To contact him moospelltemple@gmail.com

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