John Lynch compares Lorenzo Jerome to Ronde Barber

Jun 27, 2017 at 5:21 PM--

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch joined "Gary and Larry" on KNBR Tuesday to discuss the team's offseason, recently completed organized team activities, and more. One of the many intriguing offseason acquisitions by the team has been undrafted free agent safety Lorenzo Jerome out of St. Francis University, a small Catholic school in Loretto, Pennsylvania.

In four seasons with the Red Flash, Jerome had 18 interceptions, including six in 2016. While his production at the small institution was impressive, his numbers at the NFL Scouting Combine were not. His 4.70-second 40-time was the worst among the defensive backs who participated. But Lynch says that fans should not dismiss Jerome, who has been turning some heads during the 49ers' offseason program.

"We're just as intrigued – I'm just as intrigued as you are," Lynch said. "Always the question: Alright, he's at St. Francis, Division III (Note: They are actually Division I FCS). How does that translate to this? But I can tell you, certain guys – I played with Ronde Barber and the ball always just found him. What you realize after a while, it's not finding him. He's finding it and some people say, 'They're just lucky. Every tip comes to them.' But that's the way he's been out here.

RELATED Why 49ers fans should be excited about Lorenzo Jerome

"I think he led our team during the OTAs and all that in interceptions. And so a guy who's done it in college, albeit at a smaller level, did it in the All-Star games and then he comes out here and it's still happening. I like his chances. We do feel like safety is a strong position for us and we've got a lot of guys so he has a lot of competition. And a lot of it is going to be how well can he translate to special teams.

"But the things, the 40-times and all that, I think safety is a position where when you have tremendous instincts, when you have a great understanding of angles, you can get by on some of that and it's not as if his numbers are so bad that he can't play. He can definitely play in this league and we're excited to see if he can do enough to make this team."

You can listen to the entire interview on KNBR.

Earlier this month, we had a chance to talk with Jerome about his Combine numbers. The rookie safety also touched on some of the qualities that Lynch brought up.

"The Combine definitely hurt me," Jerome said on the 49ers Webzone No Huddle Podcast. "It hurt me deep down inside because I ran a 4.7 (40-yard dash). I'm really not a straight-laser guy that can burst out and just run straight. I think football's more about angles and having a feeling where the ball's at. So the Combine did hurt me, but at the end of the day you gotta play football."

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