Palmer topped the list of the 49ers' 18 undrafted free agents with a $10,000 signing bonus. Tyms was second at $8,000. Owusu, meanwhile, received $3,000. Palmer (listed at 5-foot-11, 195 pounds) caught 47 passes for 695 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior. He was not invited to the NFL scouting combine, but he took pre-draft visits to meet with the 49ers, Seattle and Indianapolis.
When he was not among the 253 players drafted, he knew where he wanted to go. "A lot of teams called," he said, "but I don't think there was any competition. I pretty much knew I was going to come here when they first called. The call from coach (Jim) Harbaugh and Mr. (Trent) Baalke felt very genuine about everything -- the offer and everything. They were up front with me about my chances to make this team and what I'd have to do."
And what Palmer must do is prove that he deserves to stick around. A spot on the 53-man roster appears to be a long shot, but Palmer has a legitimate chance to earn a spot on the practice squad. "Like anybody else here, I'll get a chance to come out and compete," Palmer said. "Of course, they have Randy Moss, Ted Ginn and (Michael) Crabtree. They have (Mario) Manningham. They got guys who have been here like Kyle Williams. They drafted A.J. Jenkins.
"They told me it's a competition and, 'If you're not scared to compete, this is a good place for you.' It's a great place to come and learn. You can learn from one of the best to ever play, Randy Moss, and a guy who just won a Super Bowl ring, Mario Manningham. You learn from coach (John) Morton, who coached Jerry Rice and Tim Brown. It's a good place for me to learn as a young receiver."
Palmer, who majored in general studies, graduated in December. After this weekend's minicamp, he is not going anywhere. He will join the 49ers' offseason program on Monday, he said.
Palmer has yet to meet Moss, but he said he plans to spend as much time as possible with the 35-year-old veteran. Moss ranks fifth all-time in receiving yards and is tied for second with Terrell Owens, behind Jerry Rice, with 153 touchdown receptions. "He learned from Cris Carter. I met Cris Carter at our bowl game in Mobile, Alabama, and he was telling me some of the things that he and Randy shared," Palmer said. "Now, it's reverse. Randy is that old, mentor guy that knows a lot about the game. I'm hoping to get in his hip pocket and learn as much as I can and as much as he'll teach me."
Palmer had an impressive opening day on the practice field, including beating cornerback Mosley deep to catch a pass from Fleming in the morning session. It appears to be a more-talented group of rookie free agents at wide receiver than the 49ers assembled a year ago.
Now following the #GOAT! @JerryRice looking for the hill they talk about....need it after that rookie minicamp session https://twitter.com/#!/RealNaPalm/status/201868708195479552