December 02, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Jon Baldwin (89) reaches for extra yards as he

AFC West: Chiefs Trade Jon Baldwin to San Francisco 49ers for A.J. Jenkins

In a deal that features two of the more recent first rounds busts in the NFL Draft at wide receiver, the Kansas City Chiefs traded Jon Baldwin to the San Francisco 49ers in return for A.J. Jenkins. Andy Reid and Jim Harbaugh deciding to swap each other’s headaches in the hope that new scenery will be all these receivers need to tap into their unharnessed potential in the NFL.

Baldwin was the 26th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft out of Pitt. In Kansas City he was expected to be the guy to fill the No. 2 wideout position behind Dwayne Bowe, but he never quite got to that point ending up with just 579 receiving yards and two touchdowns in two NFL seasons. Recently he came under fire from his new head coach for not being able to catch the football which should have been a sign that his days as a Chief were numbered.

Jenkins was the 30th pick in last year’s 2012 NFL Draft out of Illinois and had an even more disappointing rookie year than Baldwin. Jenkins was active for only three of the 49ers 16 regular season games despite being healthy, playing just 37 offensive snaps and dropping the only pass that went his way all season. Then on his first NFL catch this preseason he fumbled the ball, signaling his end in San Francisco after reports that he was having a poor training camp continued to emerge.

From a glance at two guys whose career’s have yet to pan out it appears that San Francisco might have gotten the better deal as in Baldwin they get a guy who was supposed to be the Chiefs second wide receiver and caught over 300 yards last season for a first round pick they only played in 37 snaps last season. New Chiefs GM John Dorsey must be really high on Jenkins or be super disappointed with Baldwin’s preseason so far if he was willing to let go that quickly.

Dorsey made a statement on the trade shortly after it was announced, praising Jenkins potential while letting it be known that there was no hard feelings between the organization and Baldwin.


Jenkins never quite fit into the NFC Champs plans despite being a 2012 first rounder with high expectations. With Jim Harbaugh never letting Jenkins showcase his abilities during the regular season it was painfully clear that the choice to draft Jenkins was one of the management’s as GM Trent Baalke wanted to add depth add that wide receiver position and looked to have reached for the wrong guy in Jenkins. With his skills not exactly translating from the Big Ten to a team that came close to being champions last season, Jenkins was close to being the first top round selection to be cut before his second NFL season since the Washington Redskins managed the dubious drafting feat in 1997. Now he has a chance to be a No. 2 receiver while Baalke gets a wide receiver that is more ready to contribute right away, something he is excited for.

I think that the 49ers won this deal as Jenkins has been absolutely horrendous by all accounts at practice and Baldwin’s main problem in dropping passes is more than fixable compared to Jenkins problem of actually getting onto the football field. Andy Reid didn’t have the reputation of having the best wide receiving talent during his days with the Eagles and his patience with Baldwin was wearing thin to the point where he was considering to cut him if he is willing to trade for a disaster in Jenkins.

Perhaps a change of scenery will do A.J. Jenkins and Jon Baldwin well, but for now it was an exchange of a dime for a nickel. Who got the dime and who got the nickel will be determined by which player growing the most under new surroundings, but for now Jon Baldwin’s 41 NFL receptions edge out Jenkins in the battle of disappointing first round wide receiving draft picks in this trade.

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Tags: A.J. Jenkins AFC West Jon Baldwin Kansas City Chiefs News NFL San Francisco 49ers

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