Three former 49er football players in Ben DeLuca, Romeo McKnight and Tre Harbison, signed with NFL teams after the 2021 NFL draft concluded on Saturday, while Jaelin Fisher received an invite to the Pittsburgh Steelers' rookie minicamp.
Charlotte has had quite the history in the draft, with selecting multiple players in previous years. Former 49ers Alex Highsmith (third round, Steelers) and Cam Clark (fourth round, New York Jets) were drafted in the 2020 NFL Draft. No players were drafted this year, but players have signed contracts or received minicamp invites to continue careers.
Ben DeLuca, Los Angeles Chargers:
DeLuca will travel to Los Angeles to begin his professional career with the Chargers as he signed with the team as an undrafted free agent. DeLuca was the starting safety for the 49ers for all four years of his collegiate career. He finished his playing career at Charlotte as the school's all-time leader in tackles with 313. He also led the team in solo tackles, forced fumbles, fumbles recovered and pass breakups.
DeLuca averaged over seven tackles per game and had four interceptions over his career. He was named to the all-Conference USA team as an honorable mention in 2017, 2018 and 2020.
Jaelin Fisher, Pittsburgh Steelers:
Fisher will get a chance to find a home with the Pittsburgh Steelers after he earned a minicamp invite. Fisher was a three-year starter for the 49ers on the offensive line and was an instrumental part of the offense. He was named to the watch lists for the Rimington and Outland Trophies as one of the nation's best interior lineman. In 2020, Fisher was named as an all-C-USA team honorable mention for anchoring the Charlotte offensive line.
Romeo McKnight, Cleveland Browns:
McKnight will become a member of the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent. McKnight was a transfer from Illinois State who immediately made his presence felt at the defensive end position for the 49ers. He would be an honorable mention to the 2020 all-C-USA team. In his five starts, he led the team with five tackles for loss. He averaged four tackles per game for the 49ers and had a season-high ten tackles against Florida Atlantic.
Tre Harbison, Cleveland Browns:
Harbison will join teammate Romeo McKnight in Cleveland as a high signing with the Browns as an undrafted free agent. The running back played with the Niners for one season after transferring from Northern Illinois, where he posted back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons. Harbison was a huge factor in the run game for Charlotte as he led the team in rushing yards with 337. He was able to score four touchdowns in six games with the team and averaged 56.2 rushing yards per game.
All four players had a big hand in the program's success throughout their careers with the 49ers. With there are no guarantees as undrafted free agents, each player will move on to accomplish success at the next level.