San Francisco 49ers pull draft night shocker: Illini WR A.J. Jenkins

a.j. jenkins

The Seattle Seahawks made the first big shocker on NFL Draft night by taking Bruce Irvin DE/OLB from West Virginia. The San Francisco 49ers created another big surprise when they took WR A.J. Jenkins out of Illinois with the 30th pick. It marks the first time two Illini have been selected in the first round of an NFL draft since Kevin Hardy and Simeon Rice in 1996.

Illinois now has 5 first round picks in the last five years, the most in the Big Ten. That’s a very surprising stat isn’t?

The Niners defense was so strong last year, you knew they were going to go offense this draft. And now they have plenty of pass catchers: Mario Manningham, Vernon Davis, Randy Moss, Michael Crabtree etc.

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More Illinois Fighting Illini Named to College Football Award Watch Lists

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We already told you about QB Nathan Scheelhaase being named a candidate for the Maxwell Award, the most outstanding player in college football. But there’s more:

Illinois senior wide receiver A.J. Jenkins has been named a preseason candidate for the 2011 Biletnikoff Award, given annually to the nation’s most outstanding wide receiver by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation.

Jenkins led the Illini in receiving in 2010 with 56 catches for 746 yards and seven touchdowns. His seven touchdowns rank eighth on the UI single-season TD receptions list. Jenkins had two 100-yard games during his junior season, including a career-best 137-yard effort against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Nov. 13.

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