Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 2:02pm
For the first time since the Dick Vermeil era of the Air Coryell offense, the Chiefs just might have enough talent at the wide receiver position so that quarterback Alex Smith doesn’t fall into a deep state of depression when he steps up in the pocket and looks down field.
Dwayne Bowe is the unquestionable leader of the group, but Junior Hemingway also has emerged as a big, reliable slot target. DeAnthony Thomas already has proven to be an electrifying playmaker, whether the rookie’s taking a handoff or splitting out wide. And a group that includes Donnie Avery, Kyle Williams, A.J. Jenkins and Frankie Hammond Jr. has all had moments of brilliance.
With a potentially faster, more athletic group of wide receivers this season, Smith hopes to be able to stretch defenses and deliver the ball deeper down the field.
“Our whole receiver crew I think has done an excellent job and had a great offseason. They’ve kept it going in camp with the pads on,” Smith said. “Those guys come out and battle every single day. They get a lot of tough looks; they come out prepared and make a lot of plays.”
This is a bit of a fluff piece from the team's official website, but it's good to hear some positive comments about the receiving corps. If TE Travis Kelce can come along, Smith may have a better time pushing the ball downfield in 2014, and that should only serve to help his fantasy value.
Sunday, August 3, 2014, 7:38pm
Washington, an undrafted rookie out of Missouri, fills a roster spot created by the corresponding release of wideout Jon Baldwin. The 49ers got Baldwin last Aug. 19 from the Kansas City Chiefs for A.J. Jenkins, in a swap of first-round busts; Baldwin was a 2011 top pick and Jenkins the 49ers' No. 1 choice in 2012.
Thursday, June 5, 2014, 11:10am
Chiefs beat writer Adam Teicher on the team's WR situation: "There seems to be a lot of wishful thinking going on at the position. Maybe Dwayne Bowe will bounce back with a better season or Donnie Avery can be more consistent. Perhaps A.J. Jenkins, a former first-round draft pick with the San Francisco 49ers, can improve. It's possible CFL veteran Weston Dressler or speedy fourth-round draft pick De'Anthony Thomas can provide a boost. But from this vantage point it appears the Chiefs have a collection of players at this position who don't add up to much."
It is curious, however, that they declined to address receiver in free agency or the draft. In addition to Dwayne Bowe—Dorsey said he is in “magnificent” shape—the Chiefs maintained the status quo with Donnie Avery, A.J. Jenkins, Weston Dressler and Junior Hemingway. Dorsey’s OK with that, provided that 2013 third-round tight end Travis Kelce is healthy after missing nearly his entire rookie season following microfracture surgery on his knee.
“The way that group started to come on towards the end, and getting used to the offense, you could see that they were beginning to understand their roles and what they were supposed to do,” Dorsey said. “It’s going to be a collective effort. And the emergence of a Travis Kelce being able to stretch the field as a tight end, hopefully that weapon adds another element to the passing game. We took some nicks at the tight end position last year.”
The Chiefs currently have Anthony Fasano and Sean McGrath ahead of Kelce on the depth chart, but Kelce is expected to make an impact coming off of microfracture surgery in 2013. He's a player to watch this offseason. If he has a good camp and can earn starter's snaps, he'll be a sleeper at tight end. The Chiefs are desperate for playmakers in the passing game.
Friday, February 21, 2014, 2:10pm
Friday, December 6, 2013, 5:49pm
Thursday, December 5, 2013, 6:40pm
Will Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith find Dwayne Bowe? The Chiefs have had Smith play it safe in the first two preseason games, and he’s hardly looked downfield. Bowe will command double coverage until someone, be it Donnie Avery, Devon Wylie or newly acquired A.J. Jenkins proves he can get open as the second receiver and stretch the defense. But not to have targeted Bowe yet in preseason doesn’t make a lot of sense.
While it would be nice to see Smith and Bowe hooking up with regularity, it is not terribly alarming that Smith hasn't targeted Bowe through two preseason games. Bowe is by far the team's best receiving option so the duo should get on track soon.
Free agent signee Donnie Avery will get the first shot at it after he was elevated to the starting X position on Tuesday in the wake of the trade that sent Jon Baldwin to San Francisco for A.J. Jenkins in an exchange of disappointing first-round picks.
“This is why I came here,” said Avery, a six-year veteran who caught a career-best 60 passes for 780 yards and three touchdowns last year at Indianapolis. “I love the offense. It’s a great opportunity for me to make plays … you have to take some of that pressure off Dwayne. With my speed and ability, I can do that.”
The story points out that Avery got off to a slow start, missing most of the offseason program due to a sprained ankle. Then he had to bide his time with the second unit while the club gave Baldwin every chance to justify its investment in him. With no more Baldwin, Avery is still pretty far down our list of receivers.
A.J. Jenkins is going to get a fresh start.
A short time later, the Chiefs announced Jenkins had been dealt for fellow receiver Jon Baldwin, another former first-round pick who has struggled to make an impact in the NFL.
Seems like a change of scenery deal for both players. Jenkins has really fallen on the 49er depth chart since being a 2012 first round pick. Meanwhile, Baldwin, a 2011 first round pick, had been dropping balls in KC this preseason, including one in a game against the 49ers, ironically. Baldwin seems like he would have a better chance to be productive as the 49ers are desperately looking for a WR2 and a vertical threat. Jenkins looks like he'll battle Donnie Avery and Dexter McCluster for snaps in Kansas City behind Dwayne Bowe.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013, 9:47pm
49 WR Chad Hall had several nice plays, including a deep out in which he created about five yards of separation against veteran cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha to catch the QB Collin Kaepernick pass at the sideline.
Hall has been making headlines early in camp. He was helped as A.J. Jenkins, who has gotten off to a slow start after a solid offseason program, watched most of practice from the side after appearing to sustain a hamstring strain.
Thursday, July 25, 2013, 11:46pm
Wideout A.J. Jenkins, last year’s first-round draft pick, often lined up with the first-string unit, along with Boldin.
Whoever gets the starting job opposite Boldin will have some fantasy value heading into August drafts, but keep in mind that Mario Manningham is about a month from returning. He's the wild card in this position battle.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013, 1:17pm
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee believes 49ers WR A.J. Jenkins is likely to be given the best opportunity to succeed this summer. Jenkins is a former first-round pick, and HC Jim Harbaugh had high praise for him in June.
Jenkins spent the offseason working on his biggest weakness in 2012 -- his strength. It was hard to tell whether he made strides during the non-contact practices in the spring, but Jenkins is noticeably more confidant than he was a year ago when he seemed to end up on the ground on every third play.
Training camp, and especially the preseason, will be the true test for Jenkins, who must prove he can operate in spaces far tighter and more violent than those he experienced at Illinois. If he succeeds, his quickness and fluidity would be a nice complement to Boldin's aggressive style. It's also possible that Jenkins will operate out of the slot where he would have more space with which to work.
Sunday, June 23, 2013, 12:22pm
49ers WRs Kyle Williams and Mario Manningham did not take part in the offseason program due to knee injuries, but they figure to be factors in the competition, too. Williams is expected to be cleared for the opening of training camp, while Manningham is more than a month behind Williams' rehab schedule.
Manningham could overtake A.J. Jenkins and Quinton Patton as the team's starter opposite Anquan Boldin if his knee proves to be good to go.
Friday, June 21, 2013, 1:03pm
49er WR A.J. Jenkins heads into training camp with what appears to be a slight lead over Quinton Patton and Ricardo Lockette at the X position (split end) in the 49ers' offense. Anquan Boldin is secure at the Z spot (flanker).
Kyle Williams and Mario Manningham did not take part in the offseason program due to knee injuries, but they figure to be factors in the competition, too. Williams is expected to be cleared for the opening of training camp, while Manningham is more than a month behind Williams' rehab schedule.
"All of us are working hard, and that's for the coaches to decide who gets to play. Me, Ricardo Lockette, A.J. Jenkins and everybody else out there, everybody is fighting for one position. It's a good fight going on," Patton said.
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