Every member of the 49ers’ draft class – including cornerback Will Redmond, who is recovering from an ACL injury – was on the field at the start of the team’s rookie minicamp Saturday.
Some non-rookies were there, too. Because they were not on the active roster last season, receivers DeAndre Smelter and DiAndre Campbell are able to take part. So is former Canadian Football League receiver Eric Rogers, who joined the 49ers in January. Two defensive players who were on the practice squad last season, nose tackle Garrison Smith and outside linebacker Marcus Rush, are taking part as well.
Redmond, the 49ers’ third-round pick, tore his right ACL in practice at Mississippi State in October. General manager Trent Baalke said last week that Redmond would be ready for training camp, which starts in July. Redmond, wearing No. 23, was on the field for some early drills Saturday before retiring to an exercise cycle later in the session.
The group taking part in the minicamp includes 11 draft picks, 12 undrafted players and 13 rookies who are taking part on a tryout basis. That last group includes San Jose State quarterback Joe Gray, Stanford safety Kodi Whitfield, Nevada safety Bryan Lane and Oregon center Matt Hegarty.
First-round draft choice Joshua Garnett, wearing No. 65, looked good during sled drills, showing the leverage and power that prompted the 49ers to trade ahead nine slots to get him. Also taking part in the offensive line drills was Alex Balducci, a former recruit of Chip Kelly’s at Oregon, who is being converted from nose tackle to an interior lineman. Balducci measured 6-3, 309 pounds with 33-inch arms in the run-up to the draft, and he didn’t look out of place as he went through drills with the offensive linemen. He is wearing No. 56.
Other players who look the part include Nevada’s Lenny Jones, who is switching from defensive end to outside linebacker. Jones is 6-2, 256 pounds with 33 3/8-inch arms and massive, 11-inch hands that likely caught Kelly’s and Balke’s attention.
Two undrafted defensive linemen, nose tackle Darren Lake (6-2, 329, 34 7/8-inch arms) and Demetrius Cherry (6-5, 297, 33 3/8-inch arms), also look the part.
Another player who stood out in terms of physique: Fourth-round pick Rashard Robinson. The cornerback, who weighed 171 pounds at the combine, is tall, long-limbed but also rail thin. Robinson said he has put on another 10 pounds since February, but it’s hard to see him packing much more onto such a thin frame.
The team’s first pick, DeForest Buckner, has been given No. 99. To see a list of all the rookies’ numbers, click here.