Getting noticeably tired at your first practice is not exactly how a first-round round pick envisions as the start of his NFL career. A.J. Jenkins admitted that he needed to "get in shape" after the open of 49ers rookie minicamp two weeks ago.
Interestingly, Jenkins changed his tune this week. Kyle Bonagura of CBS Sports reports that Jenkins said he wasn't out of shape at the minicamp. Instead, it was the fact that there was only three receivers that kept Jenkins running for the entire practice that was responsible for his poor appearance at the practice.
If the 49ers are worried about Jenkins' conditioning, you can't tell from their comments. Head coach Jim Harbaugh told Niner Noise that Jenkins was "impressive" in the minicamp, and that his work ethic and humility excited the second-year coach. According to Scout.com, Harbaugh's feelings about Jenkins didn't change this week during the team's OTAs, when he said Jenkins was doing a "phenomenal job."
Jenkins still hasn't worked out with 49ers legend Jerry Rice, as planned per Bonagura, so that's not how he has gone from "out of shape" to doing a "phenomenal job." Perhaps it has been due to watching anything his idol Randy Moss is doing.
However, Jenkins is changing the buzz about his conditioning. 49ers fans shouldn't worry too much about how it will affect his impact this year. 2011 first-round pick Aldon Smith, who had as much of an effect on his team's season as any defensive rookie, was "drooling and throwing up" during his first workout last year, according to nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga.
If Jenkins can make half of the big plays that Smith made last year, 49ers fans will be the ones drooling over their Super Bowl prospects after barely falling short of the big game last season.