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49ers rookies report - with plenty of work to do

The SportsXchange

The rookies who reported to the 49ers' minicamp Friday have run untold numbers of 40-yard dashes, pushed up the 225-pound bench press hundreds of times and run the three-cone drill until their legs gave in preparation for last month's NFL Draft.

That didn't prevent coach Jim Harbaugh from a blunt assessment when asked about his receiving crew, including first-round pick A.J. Jenkins.

"Out of shape, that's the bad news. Good news is that it's a very talented group of those young receivers," Harbaugh said. "You could tell that right away. But the bad news is we've got to get them in shape. I don't know exactly what all these guys have been doing in the last six months."

For Harbaugh, draft position and hype gets you as far as a jersey and a locker, after that, "Everybody's got the license and the opportunity."

The rookies are getting introduced to the rigors of the NFL, and they'll enter the 49ers' strength and conditioning program over the next two months. Harbaugh said he wasn't surprised by the lack of top conditioning at this point - NFL standards are simply higher.

The benefit for Jenkins is that he has already graduated, so he can continue in the offseason program rather than having to wait until the end of Illinois' school year before participating in more team activities.

Harbaugh has had a chance to work with his veterans for the past few weeks, and he has been pleased with the effort and enthusiasm. That includes wide receiver Randy Moss.

"We're not a team about fueling the hype, so to speak. But Randy has been outstanding in every way," Harbaugh said. "And it's neat to watch our players watch a guy like Randy that they've watched growing up."

--Center Chase Beeler broke his hand in the weight room. He had surgery and will be out "at least a couple weeks," Harbaugh said.

--Alex Boone is slated to move inside to guard, despite being 6-8. "The thing I tell you what makes me side with what I think is because he bends so well," Harbaugh said. "He bends so well at the knees. He's got a great arch in his back. I think he plays low enough to play that position, so I'm feeling good about it."
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