A.J. Jenkins, due to his draft position and the 49ers’ relative lack of depth at the position last year, is a very important player. While guys like Justin Smith (who chatted with reporters as well — look out for that) aren’t learning anything new during these mini camps, Jenkins’ progress has been heavily scrutinized.

So far, the results have been somewhat mixed. There was a minor media freakout after Jenkins looked gassed during the first day of mini camp. During recent practices, Jenkins hasn’t exactly stood out in any capacity.

Then again, Jenkins is a rookie. Luckily he has several teammates who know the ropes and are as heavily invested in Jenkins’ success as the coaching staff and fans are, players who want to help him succeed. And those teammates aren’t necessarily on the offensive side of the ball. As for a certain Hall of Fame receiver who said he wanted to take Jenkins to “the hill,” as of now that meeting hasn’t taken place.

In the video below, I started off with a couple questions, and then it goes from there. The transcript is below.

BASG: What are your first impressions of the defensive backs you’re going against?

Jenkins: Great athletes, man. As far as coming from college to the NFL you definitely see a difference. They have corners that’ll be on you every single route. Fast, big, strong. So it’s very competitive.

BASG: Do you feel like you’re at an advantage going against one of the top defenses in the NFL in practice to start your career?

Jenkins: Yeah, I mean obviously this is one of the top defenses in the league so if you practice with them every single day in practice the game will probably be easier for you. So yeah, I think so.

Kyle Bonagura: Have you got a chance to hook up with Jerry Rice?

Jenkins: Not yet, not yet. We’ve been talking on Twitter but I haven’t had a chance to have dinner with him yet.

Matt Barrows: Do any of the DBs give you tips after practice?

Jenkins: Yeah, all the time. Carlos Rogers talks to me all the time, T-Brock talks to me all the time, Cox. I’m trying to learn from them and the receivers to see what I can do to make my game better. So that’s what I’m trying to do.

Barrows: Can you give an example of something Carlos may have told you or helped you out with?

Jenkins: He just told me one time, come off the ball every time like I’m running the same route. Because sometimes I run my routes  kind of determined by the route, so I have to come off the ball every time like I’m running the same routes.