The starting wide receiver spot opposite Anquan Boldin is every bit of the competition it’s being made out to be as any wide out on the roster has a chance to step up and claim it. The reality of the situation is, however, that the 49ers are far better off if A.J. Jenkins is the one who does. The 49ers selected Jenkins with the 30th pick in the 2012 draft because they saw him as a future starter for them. Michael Crabtree‘s contract is up after next season, and should he leave it would be less of a blow if Jenkins was ready to take on top billing.
That’s why reports from camp of Jenkins stepping up make everyone breathe a little easier. On Monday, Jenkins had the best day of any of the 49er receivers. He caught about 10 passes in 11-on-11 drills and may have made the play of the day. He went up and wrestled a pass away from Perrish Cox late in practice along the right side line. A knock on Jenkins is that he doesn’t always show competitive fire when he plays. Going up and getting a ball the way he did over a defender is a good sign.
At the end of the day, it’s only practice and Jenkins has to show he can be productive in games. The preseason schedule will be very important to Jenkins, as he is one of the few projected starters that needs to show he belongs on the field with the rest if the 49ers’ first team.
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