The consensus was the 49ers had their eyes on a receiver early on in the 2020 NFL Draft. To the surprise of many, the perfect situation fell right in their laps.
Even after trading back one spot from No. 13 to 14, CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy -- the top two receivers in most experts' eyes -- still were available for their taking. Kyle Shanahan could add a new weapon and Jimmy Garoppolo would have his true No. 1 receiver.
The 49ers had other ideas, though. They selected defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw with their top pick and then traded up to No. 25 for a receiver: Brandon Aiyuk of Arizona State.
Lynch and Shanahan clearly had a plan with upgrading their receivers corps. That includes their final pick of the draft, which could turn out to be a steal. The 49ers grabbed Tennessee's Jauan Jennings with No. 217 overall pick.
Get this: Jennings' 30 forced missed tackles last season topped Lamb and Justin Jefferson -- the No. 22 pick in the draft -- as the most for draft-eligible receivers. He also was Pro Football Focus' 70th ranked prospect on their big board. With the ball in his hands, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Jennings is a problem for opposing defenses.
In other words, get the hell out of the way.
Tennessee WR Jauan Jennings: Elusive pic.twitter.com/cerSqRaYkN— PFF College (@PFF_College) April 25, 2020
Jennings finished his final season for the Vols with 59 receptions for 969 yards and scored eight touchdowns while averaging 16.4 yards per catch. Here's the problem -- Jennings tested miserably at the NFL Scouting Combine.
He ran a 4.72 40-yard dash (ouch) in Indianapolis and leapt just 29 inches (double ouch) in the vertical jump. That is not good, at all. His film clearly plays better than his testing numbers, though.
Jennings met with the 49ers at the combine and while it was a positive meeting, they were honest about what he needs to work on.
“They loved my film, they loved my tape,” Jennings said. “They just really needed me to basically dive deep in myself to work harder, and I take that upon myself to do so.”
The work starts now, and Jennings clearly will bring the boom when gets the ball.
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