Shop: 2024 49ers Training Camp Headwear →

Lorenzo Jerome’s strong training camp spikes 49ers’ safety depth competition

Jul 29, 2017 at 5:26 PM


San Francisco 49ers safety Lorenzo Jerome has made some noteworthy plays over the first two days of training camp. With depth an issue at the position, and Jimmie Ward injured, how will Jerome's efforts impact the regular-season depth chart?


Undrafted free agents are rarely storylines at NFL training camps. But this isn't the case for San Francisco 49ers rookie safety Lorenzo Jerome.

Jerome has been one of a number of standouts ever since the Niners began their on-field practices during camp on Friday, July 28. The former St. Francis (PA) defensive back, of course, came to the 49ers following the 2017 NFL Draft after going undrafted. Earlier this offseason, I included Jerome as one of the fringe players with a great chance of making San Francisco's 53-man roster this season.

So far, Jerome's training camp production has made it a real possibility.

Jerome now has back-to-back interceptions over two days of training camp, the second coming off a pass from quarterback Matt Barkley. Per Chris Biderman of USA Today's Niners Wire, this one marked the fourth of Jerome's offseason campaign.

One of the other reasons Jerome has received a good deal of press so far is the hamstring injury suffered by presumed starting free safety Jimmie Ward. Ward injured his hamstring during a conditioning test last Thursday, resulting in a placement on the physically unable-to-perform list when practices started the following day.

Ward's move to the PUP list could merely be a precautionary one. Yet it does shake up San Francisco's depth chart at safety.

In Ward's place, the Niners inserted third-year pro Jaquiski Tartt with the first-string unit. This sounds fine, but as Niners Wire's Rob Lowder pointed out, Tartt "looked overmatched" when asked to perform the center-field duties on Cover 3 schemes. Tartt is certainly better equipped as a strong safety down towards the box, so the Niners may be forced to seriously consider Jerome as a starter if Ward's injury is long term.

Another plausible option -- and one more likely -- would be to move likely strong safety starter Eric Reid back to the free safety position. Reid played there ever since being drafted by the 49ers back in 2013.

The Niners also have defensive backs Chanceller James, Adrian Colbert and Vinnie Sunseri to consider at the position.

Jerome's sudden ascension could easily push James and/or Colbert out of the picture for a regular-season roster spot. Sunseri, who played free safety during OTAs earlier this offseason, per Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, is still on the bubble. But his ability on special teams makes him a strong candidate to crack the roster.

At any rate, Jerome is starting to look much more like a worthy roster addition this September. His stellar play is all but eliminating the possibility San Francisco can stash him on the practice squad.

Look for him to make it through roster cuts after the preseason, especially if these performances continue.
  • Written by:
    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments


More San Francisco 49ers News



Johnny Holland confident 49ers' Dre Greenlaw will make a strong comeback

By David Bonilla
May 22

Dre Greenlaw suffered a devastating injury during February's Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, tearing his Achilles and missing half the game. The San Francisco 49ers linebacker has been on the challenging road to recovery since then. Greenlaw's progress appears promising. He attended the Dwight Clark Legacy Series event last week without a protective boot and seemed to be moving well as he walked on stage to accept the prestigious Dwight Clark Award. "It's a long, long, slow process," Greenlaw told the audience at the California Theatre in San Jose. "I'm feeling really, really good, though. I'm happy to be able to walk on the stage, actually." While



49ers' five most difficult games in 2024

By Marc Adams
May 19

Which 2024 game will be the most difficult for the San Francisco 49ers? There are a few to choose from. The NFL schedule-makers did the 49ers no favors. They will travel more air miles than most teams and have the worst rest disadvantage in the league at -21. That means they have multiple games in which the other team is coming off a bye or a mini-bye. Even when the 49ers seem to have an advantage because they're coming off a mini-bye, their next game is against a team returning from their bye week. The Baltimore Ravens, on the other hand, have the best rest advantage in the league (+16). Last week I highlighted the 49ers' top five non-divisional games. Those are the most important



49ers and WR Brandon Aiyuk reportedly not close on a new contract

By Marc Adams
May 19

The San Francisco 49ers need wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. And Aiyuk needs the 49ers. But the two sides are reportedly not close on a new deal that would keep the star receiver in San Francisco for years to come. Sunday morning, on SportsCenter, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported that the 49ers and Aiyuk are not close in contract negotiations, leading many to wonder if Aiyuk will hold out (not show up) or hold in (show up but not participate) for the remainder of the offseason and even training camp. "This one's tricky because he was implicated in some trade talks around the draft," Fowler said. "He wants a new contract; has one year left. I'm told the 49ers certainly are open to doing a deal, but talks have not progressed enough where things are close. And



49ers' Brock Purdy completes tosses to George Kittle at Levi's Stadium...during Luke Combs concert

By Marc Adams
May 19

San Francisco 49ers fans are accustomed to seeing QB Brock Purdy complete passes to tight end George Kittle. On Saturday night, the duo hooked up a few more times at Levi's Stadium. But it was on a stage rather than on the field. Country music star, Luke Combs, was in concert at Levi's Stadium, when part of the way through his show, he called Purdy and Kittle on stage to join him. After downing a beer with Combs, Kittle then motioned for Purdy to throw him another. Of course, his quarterback obliged. In the video, it appears that Combs raised his hand for another, but Purdy looked him off, choosing to go to his star tight end


Latest

More by Peter Panacy

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone