The 49ers took Brandon Aiyuk early in part due to his ability to break tackles and gain yards after the catch. Yards after catch is a stat that Kyle Shanahan wants to lead the league in and with George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd are all great at gaining extra yards and now Aaiyuk and Jauan Jennings land in that group. Jennings was taken 217th overall by the 49ers after catching 59 passes for 969 yards and eight touchdowns his senior year at Tennessee.
Jennings has the work ethic to make it in the NFL, but his athleticism is never going to be where it needs to be. That doesn’t mean he can’t produce, as he is impossible to take down with the first defender. He isn’t going to be a receiver who finesses and runs by defenders but he landed on the right team, as the 49ers can find ways to get players the ball without them needing to win one on one in press coverage.
Tennessee wide receiver Jauan Jennings enjoyed a productive final campaign for the Vols and he’s exceptional after the catch, although not in the ways one would expect. Typically good YAC guys are explosive and slippery but Jennings is neither. He wins after the catch with vision, physicality, body control and a refusal to get tackled. He’s simply a master at forcing missed tackles. In addition, Jennings has strong hands and ball skills. With that said, Jennings is severely lacking when it comes to burst, agility and speed. He doesn’t profile well to create separation at the next level. — Joe Marino, The Draft Network
New 49ers WR Jauan Jennings led the draft class in missed tackles forced after the catch in 2019 pic.twitter.com/jz4gYnGSSC— PFF (@PFF) April 30, 2020
Fantasy football impact
Jennings will need to stay healthy and with his physical style of play, that might not be easy. But, if he can stay on the field, Shanahan will manufacture ways to get him the ball and let him rack up yards. Jalen Hurd appears to be getting back his health, which is good for him, but bad for Jennings, who is best out of the slot, but I expect Jennings to land a spot on the roster this season.