Adam Caplan is reporting that the 49ers have agreed to terms on contracts with rookies Trenton Robinson and Darius Fleming. Along with the reported signing of Jason Slowey, this gives the 49ers three draft picks locked up heading into rookie minicamp this weekend. Wide receiver AJ Jenkins is flying out to the Bay Area today and has indicated he will sign an injury waiver for this weekend if he does not have a contract in place.
Both Robinson and Fleming will get a chance to earn their keep on special teams in 2012, but both have an opportunity to work their way into some rotational work on the defense. Robinson is coming in as a safety, but the team believes he can also work as a cornerback. His best chance for any extensive defensive playing time would be as a safety, given the limited depth at the position.
Fleming will battle with Cam Johnson and Parys Haralson for playing time behind Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith. Haralson is the grizzled veteran among those three, but if Fleming and/or Johnson can bring the necessary pass rush skills and discipline in maintaining their assignments, they could very well make Haralson expendable. It is nothing resembling a lock, but should be worth paying close attention to in August.
After the jump, I've posted the post-draft conference call transcripts for Robinson and Fleming.
S Trenton Robinson
Conference Call - April 28, 2012
San Francisco 49ers
What do you think about being drafted by the 49ers?
"I'm very excited that they took a chance on me, and I'm just really ready to get out there and work. My dream is here. I just don't even know how to feel except that I'm super excited to get out here and work and show them what I can do."
What kind of involvement did they have with you in the days before the draft?
"I had actually talked to them a couple of days before the draft. They said they liked me, they asked me some questions and everything. They said they liked me and they were definitely going to be drafting a safety. I was just excited then, and right now I just don't even really know how to feel. My dream is here and all I have to do to get where I want to be is work hard and I know I'll have a spot there."
So you must have had a pretty strong suspicion that the 49ers might be the team, right?
"Yeah, I did. I was thinking that they would be the team just from the conversation that we had a couple days ago. They are and I'm very happy to get out here. They've got a great defense already and it's just going to get me better to be able to compete with the players on that defense."
Do you recall who you spoke with a couple days ago from the 49ers?
"I don't recall who it was. It was a scout."
You played free safety with the Spartans?
"Yes, I played free safety."
Do you have any experience at cornerback at all?
"Yes, I came in originally as a cornerback when I first got to Michigan State."
So you'd say coverage skills are your strength in the defensive backfield?
"Not one of my weaknesses, I'd definitely say that's a strength."
Why did you get moved over to safety?
"Just because in my freshman year, we had a lot of corners. Otis Wiley was our safety and he was going to be leaving, so coach said he needed a safety. I'm aggressive, I like to hit, so he moved me back there and felt like I'd be successful."
You were one of the Michigan State captains last year, correct?
What did that role mean to you?
"It meant everything to me. It's not anything with the coaches; it's with the guys who you're around every day, whether you're off the field or on the field. To have them elect me as captain, that was one of the greatest moments of my life leading up to this. All that faith and belief in me, so that I could lead them. It was great for me. It felt good."
How many captains did you have on the team?
"It was me, [former Michigan State QB] Kirk Cousins and [former Michigan State G] Joel Foreman."
What do you think about playing for a Michigan man like Harbaugh?
"College is over right now, so I'm very excited, just upbeat. Just a fellow Big Ten player to be able to play with and get coached by, and he does a great job what he's done with that team in the last year is just unreal. So, I'm excited to get out there and have a great coach, coach me."
Do you think your size caused you to fall a bit lower than maybe you should have?
"I don't know what it was. I'm not even going to think about all that. All I know is whatever it was, if I fell or, I'm supposed to go where I'm supposed to go. I was put in this place for a reason and I can't worry about what happened. All I know is I'm ready to get out here and work for the 49ers and try to get a world championship. That's what the goal is and the plan is to make the team and just work hard."
Did you get a sense though that being 5'10" was an issue for teams during the interview process, the run up to the draft?
"A little bit, but I really wasn't sure. No one just came out and was like, you're 5'10", we're not thinking about drafting you. No one said that because if you watch my film and watch how I play and watch the way I move around to the ball, you can see that my size really doesn't affect the way that I play the game. I'm happy that Coach and the coaching staff in San Francisco saw that and are willing to take this chance on me."
Were you at the Combine?
"Yes, I was at the Combine."
Do you have a preference to call you Trenton or Trent?
LB Darius Fleming
Press Conference - April 28, 2012
San Francisco 49ers
Did you get a chance to meet with the 49ers before the draft?
"I had a little meeting with one of the scouts before the Combine, but never anything big."
Where do you think you project at the next level to the 49ers, pass rush specialist or are you an every down guy?
"I think right now coming in as a rookie would definitely be a pass rush specialist. As I continue to get stronger and more comfortable with the game, I think I could definitely be an every down guy but my most important role right now is going to be on special teams, and that's a role I'm willing to have. I think I can contribute the most at that position right now."
Is that what they talked to you about specifically, is special teams? At least initially?
"Yes, I've talked to them a little bit about my role and I think my role right now, like I said, on special teams and working my way up to get in on third down situations."
"I think that's going to benefit me a lot because those are really good players and they're going to be great mentors for me. I'm going to learn a lot from those players."
Who from the 49ers called you?
"Coach Harbaugh called me."
Did he give you any indication of what your role might be?
"He just said to come in right away and as a rookie, like I said, my special teams play is going to move me up a lot, and then they'll work me out at outside linebacker. Those two things will be what I'll focus on right now."
You mentioned getting stronger. Is there a particular size you want to be at? I know that you've had some issues with your shoulder in the past, how are things with that?
"I'm doing good. I'm 100 percent right now. What I meant by that is just the linebackers that the 49ers have right now are pretty big and strong, so I just have to kind of bulk up a little bit. I'm 247, 248 right now so I fit in fine, but I just want to get to more physically in shape and compare more to those guys."
Did you get to know [NT] Ian Williams much when you were at Notre Dame?
"Yes, that was my roommate my last year. He was up here a couple weeks ago for the spring game. I'm sure he's just as excited as I am for this opportunity. Honestly, that'll probably be my roommate. I'm just excited about everything and being a 49er now especially because one of my guys is up there."
Did you talk to him during the season when the 49ers were in the playoffs and whatnot?
"Yes, I talked to him a little. I didn't want to bother him too much because it's a lot of stress on you going through those situations. I was actually one of the guys that kept in touch with him and stayed close with him throughout that process."
When you were watching the 49ers defense, when you see them in games, do you put yourself in the role at linebacker and see how you would fit in their scheme?
"Definitely. You do that all the time being a senior in college trying to get to this next level. I think you do that when you watch anybody. I watched those guys and they have a great core group of guys. It's exciting to be a part of that now."
You obviously played against Stanford in college. Did Harbaugh, when he spoke to you, mention playing against Notre Dame at all?
"Yes, sir. He asked me if I knew who he was and I said I thought we had encountered each other a couple of times. Coach Harbaugh is a great guy and an awesome coach. I love his coaching style. I think that's what I'm most excited about because I know the type of coach he is and the way he treats his players and the way he enjoys the game. That's exciting about him."
Where are you right now?
"I'm actually stuck in Chicago's traffic at the moment."
Were you in traffic when you got the call?
"I wasn't. I was actually rolling pretty well and then once I got the call traffic hit. I'm fine with being stuck in traffic now that I'm a 49er."
Did you pull over to the side of the road or do you have a hands-free device?
Welcome to California.