Harbaugh 'fired up' about young wide receiver

Harbaugh on Lockette: 'There's something about him'

Harbaugh 'fired up' about young wide receiver
March 20, 2013, 10:30 am
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Ricardo Lockette combines 4.37 40 speed with a 6-foot-2, 215-pound frame. (AP)

He's got something else to him, too, besides just the analytical size, strength, speed. There's something special there.
—Jim Harbaugh on WR Ricardo Lockette

PHOENIX -- Coach Jim Harbaugh is excited to see a certain young wide receiver this offseason.

Hint: This wide receiver did not catch a pass last year. Another hint: He has two more career receptions than A.J. Jenkins, the team's first-round draft pick in 2012.

"I'm really looking forward to Ricardo Lockette's progress," Harbaugh said Wednesday morning at the NFL owners meetings. "I can't wait to see what he does. A real inflection point for him is coming."

Lockette, who turns 27 in May, signed with the Seattle Seahawks in 2011 as an undrafted rookie. He ran a blazing 4.37 seconds in the 40 at the NFL scouting combine, showcasing the speed that won him the NCAA Division II title in the 200 meters while at Fort Valley State.

Lockette combines his speed with a 6-foot-2, 215-pound frame. But when Harbaugh talks about Lockette, he goes beyond the measurables.

"I'm sure there's things I can specifically name, but there's just something about him that I'm really fired up about," Harbaugh said. "He's got something else to him, too, besides just the analytical size, strength, speed. There's something special there. I just feel it."

Lockette has spent a good deal of time this offseason in Atlanta working out with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, along with Jenkins and slot receiver Chad Hall.

Lockette caught two passes for 105 yards and a touchdown in two games his rookie season with the Seahawks. The 49ers added him to the practice squad last season after the Indianapolis Colts signed receiver Nathan Palmer to their 53-man roster off the 49ers' practice squad.

Lockette turned down multiple opportunities to sign with other teams' 53-man rosters during the season, both he and Harbaugh said at the Super Bowl.

Harbaugh will also have a close eye on Jenkins. Of course, Jenkins did not catch a pass as a rookie. Harbaugh said he witnessed progress from Jenkins in practices through the course of the season.

"He's one of the persons you're really excited about this coming offseason, minicamps, OTAs, training camp," Harbaugh said.

Lockette and Jenkins will be battling for roster spots and/or playing time time behind starters Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin.

"You want it to be really strong group," Harbaugh said, "It starts with those guys, Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin. Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams will be rehabbing this offseason. We definitely know what both of those men can do."

Manningham, who accepted a pay cut last week to remain on the team, is not expected to be ready for the start of training camp due his season-ending knee injury. Williams, who also had a season-ending knee injury, is expected to be ready to open camp.

The 49ers on Tuesday signed free agent receiver Marlon Moore, a three-year veteran who the Miami Dolphins did not tender as a restricted free agent. Moore caught six passes for 116 yards and a touchdown last season while also being a contributor on special teams.

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