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Niners WR Jenkins looks like major work in progress

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
Executive editor

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By Dan Arkush

Based on his extremely inconsistent play in the early stages of the offseason, it’s hard to imagine surprise first-round WR A.J. Jenkins making anywhere near the kind of impact that surprise 2011 first-round draft pick Aldon Smith made for the Niners in his rookie campaign.

“He hasn’t looked very good,” said one daily team observer of Jenkins, who was widely considered more of a second-round talent. “He displayed some flashes with a few really difficult catches, but he’s also looked really bad at times, and he seems to have had problems staying on his feet.

“It’s early. Maybe he’ll show more in training camp.”

Entering training camp, though, close observers could make a strong case for as many as six other Niners wideouts looking better than Jenkins up to now, including undrafted rookies Chris Owusu and Nathan Palmer and not including veteran Ted Ginn, who has been nursing injuries most of the time.

Fellow newcomers Randy Moss and Mario Manningham, as well as holdovers Michael Crabtree and Kyle Williams, who both have had excellent offseasons up to now by all accounts, have greatly overshadowed Jenkins, who sources agree needs to work on building up his upper-body strength in order to hold up against aggressive press corners at the pro level.

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