49ers WR A.J. Jenkins brushes off rough preseason start

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Jenkins hopes to make a bigger impact for San Francisco in 2013.

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver A.J. Jenkins didn't have a great start to the preseason Thursday against the Denver Broncos, catching just one pass and losing a fumble. However, Jenkins isn't letting it get him down, per Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area.

Jenkins was the 49ers' first-round pick in 2012, going off the board at No. 30 overall. A highly touted prospect out of Illinois, he ran an impressive 4.39-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, and that speed combined with the solid numbers he put up as a senior for the Fighting Illini (90 catches, 1,276 yards, eight touchdowns) convinced San Fran that he was first-round material.

Despite the high draft selection and a four-year, $6.95 million contract, Jenkins failed to make a catch during the 2012 season, playing in just three games. Even though he wasted an opportunity to make a good impression in the Niners' first game of the preseason, Jenkins is confident he will improve.

"Hopefully, I've made some strides," Jenkins said. "It's the first preseason game. We have three more games left. It's a long year. No need to panic and get all discouraged. Just got to keep watching film."

Michael Crabtree is recovering from an Achilles injury, leaving a sizeable hole in the 49ers' receiving corps. The sooner Jenkins can step up and consistently contribute, the better off San Francisco will be.

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