Many of the San Francisco 49ers 2017 rookie class have moved quickly up the depth chart including safety Lorenzo Jerome. The UDFA has gotten plenty of playing time with the 1s with the absence of Jimmie Ward at free safety and he’s been proving he is worthy of the chance.
Jerome played 33 snaps, or 63 percent of the total defensive snaps in Kansas City where he had three solo tackles and three combined. He played 37 snaps, or 49 percent of the snaps facing the Broncos where he managed two solo tackles, two combined and a PBU. Defensive teammate Eric Reid was very complimentary of Jerome’s play.
“He’s grown up a lot. To be running with the 1s as a rookie, it’s tough. I remember my rookie year and the pressure that comes with that. You want to live up to the expectations that you set for yourself and I think he’s been doing well. He made a huge tackle in the first play of the game which got everybody excited, especially him. He’s gotta just keep doing what he’s doing.”
While Reid was complimentary, Jerome says he still has work to do to get better and he’s ready to watch film and get right back to work. He says that the game has already slowed down a lot, even in just one week. He attributes that to Reid, Jaquiski Tartt and Jimmie Ward coaching him up throughout practice and during the game.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan has been pleased with the rookie, calling him a ball hawk, but did mention he still has some learning to do. He saw Jerome out of position a few times during the game but added that the defensive back got lucky and didn’t have to pay for it as the Broncos didn’t go outside on those particular plays.
It still has to be determined if Ward comes back into the fold this week. The strength and conditioning staff and DB coach Jeff Hafley will be putting him through several tests before taking him off the PUP list. Meanwhile, Jerome will take advantage of all the reps he can get.