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

Jul 29, 2017 at 5:26 PM0



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 views 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

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



La Canfora: Strong expectation among NFL GMs that 49ers try to trade Jimmy Garoppolo this week

By David Bonilla
Apr 27, 2021

The San Francisco 49ers have repeatedly stated that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo remains in the team's plans for 2021. That would mean a rookie sitting behind him for at least the upcoming season, which makes sense. The 49ers are built to win now and have shown they can do so with Garoppolo at the helm. However, his durability has become a concern after missing 23 games over the past three seasons. Maybe that won't remain the plan. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that there is a "very strong" expectation around the league that San Francisco will make an effort to trade Garoppolo before or even during the draft. "Timing isn't great with 5 QBs about to go in 1st round, but Jimmy G's future there now seen as bleak," wrote La Canfora via



John Lynch says Jimmy Garoppolo embracing the competition after 49ers draft Trey Lance

By David Bonilla
May 3, 2021

Keeping a veteran quarterback while drafting his eventual replacement isn't a new idea. The San Francisco 49ers did that last week with the selection of Trey Lance of North Dakota State. They also intend to keep Jimmy Garoppolo, their starter since 2017, around. The Kansas City Chiefs did it with Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes. The 49ers did it with Smith and Colin Kaepernick. The Green Bay Packers did it with Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. It's a solid blueprint that allows a rookie to more easily transition from the college game to the pros, especially when thrown into an offense as complex as head coach Kyle Shanahan's. "First and foremost, Jimmy's really good," general manager John Lynch said this morning on KNBR's Murph & Mac show. "He's a



49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo understands that competition is part of NFL life

By David Bonilla
May 6, 2021

When the San Francisco 49ers traded for Jimmy Garoppolo in 2017, he was seen as the team's quarterback of the future. He was the player who would solidify the position — the most important in sports — for years to come. Three years after signing a long-term deal with the team, the Niners drafted Garoppolo's eventual replacement. San Francisco made Trey Lance of North Dakota State the No. 3 overall pick last week. Garoppolo remains in the 49ers' plans for the upcoming season. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has repeatedly stated that the veteran quarterback will be his starter for Week 1 while leaving the door cracked open for the rookie by saying anything is possible. For now, Garoppolo will be the man under center. However, behind him on the depth chart is



San Francisco 49ers projected 2021 depth chart: Post-draft

By Kirk Larrabee
Apr 29, 2021

How will the 49ers' depth chart look as the NFL Draft moves on? That's a question we'll attempt to answer here. It's a bit difficult at this time of the year to accurately project a depth chart, given how many players are new to the team, how many will come and go in the weeks ahead, and how many positions may shift down the line. There's an awful lot of guesswork going on here, but we'll give it a try based on who is on the roster at the moment. The 49ers will release their first unofficial depth chart at some point in the weeks or months ahead. We'll be making updates to this chart as the NFL Draft concludes and more players are added to the 49ers. Be sure to check back for updates. Offense QUARTERBACK 1.


Featured

More by Peter Panacy

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone