49ers sign two; stage set for first-rounders?

After signing fourth-round draft pick Michael Robinson on Tuesday and third-round pick Brandon Williams on Wednesday, the 49ers are working on getting first-round selections Vernon Davis and Manny Lawson under contract before the first practice of training camp Friday morning.

Like San Francisco's final five 2006 draft selections – who each were under contract with the team by the middle of June – Robinson and Williams each signed a four-year deal.

Williams - whose deal is worth $2.285 million with a signing bonus of $675,000 - became the first of San Francisco's first-day selections to agree to terms, paving the way for the Niners to focus on finalizing deals with their first dual first-rounders since both Julian Peterson and Ahmed Plummer were selected in the first round in 2000.

The 49ers got Plummer (the No. 24 overall selection) signed before the start of training camp that year, but Peterson (the No. 16 overall selection) missed almost two weeks of camp before finally ending an 11-day holdout in his rookie year.

Of course, 49ers management was dealing with the difficult Poston brothers (Peterson's agents) back then, and the team is hoping to have smoother negotiations with Davis' agent, Ethan Lock, who has publicly postured that it's no big worry on his end if Davis is signed or not by the start of training camp practices. Last year, another first-round Lock client, Erasmus James, held out of training camp for 10 days before finally inking his rookie contract with the Minnesota Vikings.

The 49ers have not had a draft pick unsigned at the beginning of training camp since first-rounder Mike Rumph's brief holdout in 2002.

The Niners might have gotten a break in negotiations with Davis – the No. 6 overall pick – on Tuesday when safety Michael Huff – the No. 7 overall selection – signed his rookie deal with the Oakland Raiders. Huff agreed to a five-year, $22.5 million deal with Oakland that guarantees him $15 million, and those are some solid guidelines to build on for a finalized deal with Davis, since those numbers establish the bottom ceiling for Davis' contract.

Lawson should prove easier to get under contract as the first-round signing process – first-rounders always are the last to sign and the toughest to sign – begins to fall into order. Lawson's agent, Jonathan Feinsod, was scheduled to meet with 49ers officials on Wednesday.

Four first-rounders – Huff, No. 1 overall pick Mario Williams (Houston), No. 13 overall Kamerion Wimbley (Cleveland) and No. 19 overall Antonio Cromartie (San Diego) – had signed by late Wednesday afternoon.

Cromartie – selected three slots ahead of Lawson – agreed to a five-year deal worth $12.75 million with $7.35 million guaranteed.

The first round continued to take shape early Thursday with No. 4 overall pick D'Brickashaw Fergosun signing with the New York Jets, who also inked No. 29 overall pick Nick Mangold. The Jets were the only other team besides the 49ers with two first-round selections this year.

As of noon Thursday, No. 17 overall pick Chad Greenway had signed with the Minnesota Vikings, No. 28 pick Marcedes Lewis had signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Giants had signed Mathias Kiwanuka, the final player chosen in the first round.

In other Niners news, it has been reported that undrafted rookie free agent linebacker David Dixon will sign either a one or two-year deal with the 49ers on Thursday - pending a physical with the team - and participate in the first camp practices the next day.

Dixon is an intriguing 6-foot-2, 244-pound prospect who was considered one of the top Community College players in the nation in 2004 before sitting out last season due to academic problems. He entered the NFL's supplemental draft earlier this month and expected to be selected in the latter rounds, but no team was willing to part with the 2007 draft pick that would have been necessary to secure his services.

Dixon was a havoc-creating monster at Hutchinson Junior College in Kansas, making 43 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, recording 8.5 sacks, blocking five kicks, causing four fumbles and intercepting two passes. He also displayed athleticism and speed while averaging 27.8 yards on 11 kickoff returns and 27 yards on three punt returns.


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