Every offseason a number of undrafted free agents make their mark on the squad as they fight to make the 53-man roster. The San Francisco 49ers signed 19 such players and a few have already been tabbed as players to watch.
ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper released his list of the top 25 undrafted free agents and 49ers TE
TE Cole Hikutini
A Sacramento native, Hikutini began his college career at Sacramento State before transferring to Louisville. In the Cardinals high powered offense, Hikutini hauled in 69 receptions for 1,016 yards, scored 11 touchdowns and averaged 14.7 yards per reception over a two year span. He finished his tenure with a streak of 23 straight games with a reception.
According to Kiper: “A knee injury kept him from drills at the combine. He ran the 40 around 4.80 at his pro day, but I thought his tape showed a Day 2 pick, and he was my sixth-ranked tight end. Hikutini could be a steal.”
DB Lorenzo Jerome
A small school product out of Saint Francis (PA), Jerome found his way onto NFL scouts' radars during the pre-draft process with solid performances at the Reese's Senior Bowl and the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. During his four-year career for the Red Flash, he totaled 252 tackles, 47 passes defensed, 14 tackles for loss, five sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. Jerome recorded 18 interceptions, which ranks second in Saint Francis and Northeast Conference history.
Jerome also served as the team’s primary return man, scoring five return touchdowns during his collegiate career.
His hard work on the field didn’t go unnoticed. As a freshman in 2013, Jerome was named NEC Defensive Rookie of the Year. He was a four-time First Team All-NEC player-the first in conference history. As a senior, Jerome was also named as an AP FCS First-Team All-American as a defensive back.
According to Kiper: “The football just seems to find him. He had two interceptions and a forced fumble in the Senior Bowl and two more interceptions at the NFL Players Association Collegiate Bowl. Jerome had 18 career interceptions at St. Francis (Pennsylvania)."