New York Jets: A.J. Jenkins is trying to revive his career


The New York Jets will be giving a former first-round pick a chance to make their team in 2015.

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A.J. Jenkins was the 30th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers, but his time in San Francisco was short. Jenkins only played in three games for the 49ers in 2012, and only had one pass thrown to him.

“I’d be lying to you if I said there wasn’t [some low moments],” Jenkins said to Brian Costello of the New York Post. “A first-round pick and you don’t play at all? You know, the media kills you and that was something new for me. I had never been on that side of the fence before. I’ve always been praised. For me, being that young and in that situation, I was definitely a little down on myself.”

In 2013, Jenkins was swapped for another failed first-round pick in Jonathan Baldwin.

Jenkins would play two seasons for the Kansas City Chiefs, who were desperately looking for help at the wide receiver position. In two seasons with the Chiefs, Jenkins totaled 41 receptions, 579 receiving yards, and two receiving touchdowns.

In his senior season at Illinois, Jenkins played great, which led to him becoming a first-round prospect. In 2011, Jenkins totaled 90 receptions, 1,276 receiving yards, and eight receiving touchdowns. The 49ers had hopes that Jenkins would be an explosive element to their offense, but that didn’t happen.

With the Jets, Jenkins is battling with young players, who are also fighting for their careers. Jenkins was out of football last season, but does have experience on most.

“Just stay grounded,” Jenkins said of his advice for the rookies of the Jets. “As fast as it starts, it could be over. Obviously, in my position I’m trying to fight for another job. Being a first-round pick you kind of think you’re already certified and things are given, but it’s not that way. You don’t want to know the hard way. You don’t want to know my way.”

Jenkins has had a tough career in the NFL so far, and he hopes that things will now change with the Jets.

“You want to see the hunger first of all,” Bowles said to Costello. “Is it still there that he wants to play and has something to prove? And then you want to see him make progress, and he should be a little more experienced than the other guys, but you want to see if the hunger is there and then he has to pick up the system like the rest of them.”

The Jets have a talented wide receiver corps with Eric Decker, Brandon Marshall, Jeremy Kerley and Devin Smith. Jenkins will be trying to impress to make the Jets, and help remove the bust label from his name.

Next: Who is the best first-round pick made by the Jets?

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