Davis on Jenkins: 'He's still learning the game'
A.J. Jenkins did not catch a pass in his rookie season and had a rough debut to his 2013 season in the 49ers' exhibition opener.
Editor's note: Training camp is underway. For all the latest news from Santa Clara, check out our 49ers training camp page.
SANTA CLARA -- Tight end Vernon Davis spent another day Sunday in which he was the 49ers' top deep threat on the practice field.
Obviously, Anquan Boldin is the 49ers' top wide receiver. But do the 49ers have other outside options to help draw coverage away from Davis when he runs his seam route?
In his answer, he mentioned one -- and only one -- wide receiver.
"I really like A.J. Jenkins," Davis said on Monday. "He's got a lot of potential. He's still learning the game, he told me yesterday.
"He has all the potential to do it. It's just taking him a little time, but he will get there, and I think he will be prepared by the start of the season."
Jenkins' performances on the practice field have been up and down. In the exhibition opener last week against the Denver Broncos, Jenkins caught one pass and fumbled it away for one of the 49ers' four turnovers.
As a rookie, the 49ers' first-round draft pick did not catch a pass.
"Last year was his rookie year. He's got time. He's got time," Davis said. "I don't think we can rush him because it's up to him to change his mindset and really take off. Not only change his mindset, but really grasp whatever it is the coaches are trying to give to him, whichever role it is and blossom. I think he has it in him."
When asked what attributes he likes in Jenkins, Davis answered, "He's smooth, he's fast and he wants to succeed. Those are the three main things that jump out to me. It's hard to find speed."
Marlon Moore earned the right to be in the starting lineup, along with Boldin, in the 49ers' first game. Jenkins is competing for his role in the offense in a crowded competition that also includes Kyle Williams, Austin Collie, Quinton Patton, Chad Hall, Ricardo Lockette, Lavelle Hawkins, Kassim Osgood and Chuck Jacobs.
Jenkins has not shown the consistency required for him to stand out among the 49ers' group of wideouts.
"I think there's a lot of things he does well, very well," 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman said. "I don't know that I'd pick one. He makes some spectacular catches. He's got big strong hands. Makes good catches. Is getting better with his route running. He's improving really in everything he does. It's just a matter of down-in down-out consistency."