Linking young WRs Jenkins, Baldwin, Quick

NFL teams have drafted three wide receivers with the 25th through 35th picks over the past three years.

All three of the receivers have NFC West ties. All three are facing important and possibly pivotal 2013 seasons:

2012 Rookie WRs by Yards

  • Jon Baldwin: The Kansas City Chiefs drafted him 26th overall from Pittsburgh in 2011. Baldwin owns 10 starts in 26 regular-season games. He had 41 receptions for 579 yards and two touchdowns over that span before the Chiefs traded him to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday. New coach Andy Reid seemed to be losing patience with Baldwin recently.

  • A.J. Jenkins: The 49ers drafted Jenkins 30th overall from Illinois in 2012. They traded him to the Chiefs on Monday after Jenkins had run 35 regular-season plays (16 pass routes) over three games without making a reception. Jenkins joins former 49ers quarterback Alex Smith seeking a fresh start in Kansas City. Getting something in return for Jenkins made more sense than releasing him outright simply because the 49ers need talent at the position.

  • Brian Quick: The St. Louis Rams drafted Quick 33rd overall from Appalachian State in 2012. Quick caught 11 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie. Questions remain about his ability to contribute in the short term. The assumption has been that Quick would have time to develop. As the Jenkins trade shows, assumptions about early draft choices getting a couple seasons aren't always safe. I'd still expect Quick to stick around on the initial 53-man roster. How he performs over the final preseason games could give us additional clues regarding his trajectory.

The chart shows 2012 receiving yardage leaders for rookie wideouts. Chris Givens, drafted by the Rams in the fourth round, led rookie receivers from the NFC West. Arizona's Michael Floyd wasn't far behind. Givens and Floyd project among the more promising young players in the division heading into 2013.