Tony Avelar Associated Press Rookie wide receiver Quinton Patton catches a pass Friday during the 49ers' three-day rookie minicamp in Santa Clara.

49ers notes: Early bird Patton will be last rookie to join team

Published: Saturday, May. 11, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3C
Last Modified: Sunday, May. 12, 2013 - 2:56 pm

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers rookie most eager to join his teammates following the draft will be the last to officially join the full squad for offseason workouts.

Coach Jim Harbaugh said every member of the incoming class except wide receiver Quinton Patton will join the veterans when the offseason program resumes Monday. Louisiana Tech's graduation is later than most schools', and NFL rules forbid Patton from joining his squad until then. Patton can join the team later this month.

Patton became entangled in the NFL rules when, two days after the draft ended April 27, he bought a plane ticket from Nashville, Tenn., to San Francisco, rented a car and told the 49ers he was on his way to the team facility.

Harbaugh had to call back and tell him to fly back home – draft picks can visit their new teams 24 hours after they are drafted but otherwise can't arrive until the rookie minicamp.

That three-day minicamp began Friday, and Patton is participating.

However, he wasn't an early bird this week. On Thursday, Patton missed his 7 a.m. flight to San Francisco when he couldn't find his driver's license at the airport. Turns out it was buried deep in his luggage, and he took another flight that afternoon.

"I was like, 'Man, I tried to come out there early last time, and now I can't even get out there this time,' " he said.

Son also rises – Two quarterbacks are attending the rookie minicamp: seventh-round pick B.J. Daniels and undrafted free agent Nate Montana, who is on hand on a tryout basis.

Joe Montana's son said he also received a tryout invitation from the Bengals. But Cincinnati's minicamp was this weekend, too, and Montana said he thought he had a better chance of catching on with San Francisco.

"I think the (quarterbacks) out there have a lot more experience – that's what me and my agent talked about," Montana said.

After starter Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers have Colt McCoy, Scott Tolzien and Daniels at quarterback. The Bengals' depth chart at the position: Andy Dalton, Josh Johnson, John Skelton and Zac Robinson.

Montana worked out for the 49ers before the draft last month. At the time, he said he was looking at the Canadian Football League and Arena League as possibilities.

Montana said he's more optimistic now about catching on with an NFL team.

"I don't know what will happen," he said. "It's up to coach Harbaugh. It will be an interesting road."

Iron Vance? – After the 49ers drafted tight end Vance McDonald in the second round, Harbaugh suggested the rookie wear No. 89 – Mike Ditka's number when he played tight end for the Bears.

McDonald said he didn't know much about Ditka's background other than his reputation for toughness. He acknowledged that was a gap in his résumé at Rice, where he played more wide receiver than tight end.

"Being physical is definitely something I want to work on," he said. "Didn't get a lot of that in college. And you definitely have to be physical to play this game."

Et cetera – The 49ers already have signed five members of their 11-man draft class: defensive lineman Quinton Dial, linebacker Nick Moody, Daniels, offensive tackle Carter Bykowski and cornerback Marcus Cooper.

• Dial (toe) and fellow defensive end Tank Carradine (knee) sat out practice, which made former discus thrower Lawrence Okoye a de facto starter. It was Okoye's first-ever football practice.

• Undrafted free agent Luke Marquardt is in a boot and using crutches. The 6-foot-9 offensive tackle had follow-up surgery last month on a foot he broke before his senior season, but he should be ready for training camp.

Read Matthew Barrows' blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers and listen for his reports Tuesdays on ESPN Radio 1320. Follow him on Twitter @mattbarrows.

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