The staff of Writing Illini takes a look at the recent trade between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs that shipped former Illini A.J. Jenkins over to KC. A.J. Jenkins was taken in the 1st round of the 2012 Draft by SF, but have not been able to live up to his potential.
Rees: The Kansas City Chiefs will be good for A.J. He has not had the greatest beginning to what was thought to be a promising career. Now playing for the Chiefs it is like he is starting all over again. He has a team around him that will support him as well as a former teammate in Alex Smith to throw him the ball. The familiarity the two had developed in San Francisco will transfer over and make the transition as easy as possible.
This acquisition for the Chiefs will also add another fold into their offense. Alex Smith is not the explosive player that a Colin Kaepernick is, but with players around him that can burn the edges will better his game. This addition will also free up space for Dwayne Bowe as well. Bowe is a top flight wide receiver that has not had the attention all the other high talent guys have had. This is part because of the quarterback situation and part because there has not been a solid number two in the past ten years. A.J. can now make a name for himself and at the same time keep the Illini Nation proud.
Austin: A change of scenery is exactly what A.J. Jenkins needed at this point in his NFL career. For someone with a good deal of talent when he left the University of Illinois, Jenkins has fallen on hard times. Coming to Kansas City does two things for Jenkins.
It puts him in a situation with a coach, Andy Reid, who likes to pass a bit more than Harbaugh. Also, it puts him in a situation that puts very minimal pressure on him, something I think may have been causing issues with his psyche. While I can’t predict a 1,000 yard/10 TD season, I feel like it is safe to feel like he will, in some way, contribute to the Chiefs. At minimum, he will have more receptions than last year, and I expect him to be used more in the offense with Kansas City.
Ryan: I highly doubt Illinois fans that follow former players in the NFL can expect to see much, if anything, out of Jenkins this season for Kansas City. He is going to be acclimating to a new offensive system, and he is currently buried as a 3rd teamer on their most recent depth chart. If Jenkins somehow finds his way to the field by mid-season it will be a win for all parties involved, but at this point I just don’t see him contributing anything beyond a catch or two in garbage time for the Chiefs this year.
Ricky: The trade between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs does nothing, but good things for former Illinois WR A.J. Jenkins. However, Jenkins will need to go to work quickly if he wants to avoid being cut by KC (not saying he will). San Fran was just a bad situation for Jenkins and it’s good that he is out of there. Jenkins has mentioned how messed up the 49ers wideout situation was and he should be glad to be gone. Jenkins has so much potential and Illini fans will now be able to see Jenkins full potential each and every Sunday in KC.
What do you think, Illini Nation? How will Jenkins perform as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs?
The Writing Illini staff includes lead editor Ricky Widmer along with staff writers, Austin Jabs, Rees Woodcock, and Ryan Kraemer.
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