Jon Baldwin and A.J. Jenkins both entered the league with significantly high expectations, with the Kansas City Chiefs using the 26th overall pick in 2011 on Baldwin and Jenkins being selected 30nd overall by the San Francisco 49ers in 2012. To date, both wide receivers have failed to come anywhere close to those expectations.
Now, each will get a chance for a fresh start after the 49ers and the Chiefs announced a swap of the former first-round picks on Monday morning.
Baldwin, 24, had quickly fallen out of favor with Andy Reid for his inability to hold onto the football – he already has three drops this preseason. In his first two seasons with the Chiefs, Baldwin recorded just 41 catches for 579 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Talent has never been an issue for the third-year wide receiver out of Pittsburgh, and if Jim Harbaugh can get his head screwed on straight, Baldwin could be a great addition for the 49ers.
Jenkins, 23, was clearly in 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh’s after fumbling the only catch he made during the preseason. He failed to make a catch during his rookie season, being targeted just once all year – in Week 17. While the change of scenery may begin to help Jenkins’ development, he is not expected to be any higher than fourth on the depth chart.
Giving up on Jenkins is a painful admission of failure for the 49ers, who passed on multiple playmaking receivers by taking the University of Illinois product.