Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee writes that there are only three wide receivers currently on the 49ers roster who are guaranteed a roster spot at this point in the preseason.
Those three players are Anquan Boldin, Kyle Williams and Quinton Patton. Barrows adds that Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham could remain on the team’s PUP list, which would prevent them from playing in the first six games of the regular season, but they also wouldn’t count against the team’s 53-man roster.
Barrows adds that San Francisco could keep one or both of Marlon Moore and Kassim Osgood given that they have been “consistently good on offense and both have true added value as coverage guys on special teams.”
This brings us to 2012 first-round pick A.J. Jenkins. According to Barrows, Jenkins “simply hasn’t been one of the six best receivers in training camp.”
“If the 49ers keep him, they will say it’s because they believe Jenkins has a bright future,” writes Barrows. “But that will be a tough sell to the five or six others who are cut and to the remaining players in the locker room, who will privately conclude that Jenkins’ first-round status bought him another year on the roster.”
Barrows adds that Jenkins offers almost nothing as a special teams player, so his overall value to the 49ers is somewhat limited. Especially if he’s unable to out play some of the aforementioned players. Still, there hasn’t been a lot of precedent for parting ways with a first-round pick in such a short period of time. Jenkins will need to prove his worth in upcoming preseason games to ensure a roster spot or there will be a lot of speculation regarding his status with the team.