SANTA CLARA – At certain points in this morning’s Rookie Mini Camp, first round draft pick A.J. Jenkins looked like the best receiver on the practice field by far. At other points he got outclassed by undrafted players like Stanford’s Chris Owusu. Here’s what I mean.
All the players raced this morning, but they didn’t run straight. They ran 20-yard figure-eights around giant hoola hoops. This drill tested quickness – the ability to sink your hips and accelerate around tight turns without popping upright or shortening your stride.
A.J. Jenkins raced Chris Owusu at least twice and lost both times. If you didn’t know which guy was the first round pick and which was the undrafted player, you would have thought it was Owusu.
But when the receivers started running routes and catching passes, it was obvious which guy was the first-rounder. A.J. Jenkins caught all but two passes – ones behind him, over his head and below his knees. He even made a diving catch. Owusu, on the other hand, dropped several passes that were right to him.
After these first few drills, both Jenkins and Owusu seemed out of breath, hands on hips. In the locker room, Jenkins appeared to have both his hamstrings heavily taped with ice.
After practice, Jim Harbaugh said many of the players were out of shape, but he’s not worried at this point.