The San Francisco 49ers didn't take the player many thought hey would in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, selecting Illinois wideout A.J. Jenkins 30th overall. Nevertheless, after the season they put together in 2011, there isn't much room for criticism of the new Harbaugh regime, and this pick is certainly no different.
The Niners braintrust lauded their first round pick Thursday evening, explaining why they made the pick they did, and some of the factors why they chose Jenkins over everyone else.
General Manager Trent Baalke was excited about the versatility Jenkins brings at the receiver position, a large reason why they chose him in the first round:
"Some guys are strictly Xs (flanker)," general manager Trent Baalke said right after making Jenkins the team's first-round selection. "We feel this is a multi-align guy, who can line up at all three spots."
Head coach Jim Harbaugh explained how he felt the draft process went, and why the 49ers chose Jenkins over some of the other players that were said to be on their radar:
"It went the way we anticipated," head coach Jim Harbaugh said of the opening round which saw 19 trades take place, the most in NFL Draft history since 1970. "He's a bright guy, a bright football guy, someone we're really pleased to have."
Harbaugh went on to note some of Jenkins other qualities as well:
"Speed, very fluid in his routes, someone who can get separation," Harbaugh said of his new receiver. "Strong, tough guy."
"Very excited about the great players for A.J. to be mentored by, learn from and also to compete with," Harbaugh said.
"Talent, character, smarts," Harbaugh explained. "He's wired right."
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