No. 1: Lorenzo Jerome, Safety
You can’t measure the size of a man’s heart. Yes, it’s cliché’, but it sure fits Lorenzo Jerome.
While at St. Francis, he amassed 18 interceptions and 47 pass breakups. Every time the level of competition improved, Jerome did as well. In both the NFLPA and the Senior Bowl, he had two more interceptions in each, once again showing that he can step his game up to meet the challenge of increased talent levels.
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Jerome takes great angles and has an innate ability to locate the ball and create turnovers.
The 49ers could not have found themselves a better fit for new defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. Running a hybrid 4-3 scheme.
With a new offense being installed as well, turnovers and field position will go a long way in giving the offense more opportunities to score. After finishing 31st in total offense last season, that would be a welcomed change for Kyle Shanahan and Co.
Jimmie Ward is the perceived starter at free safety, but he has not shown an ability to stay healthy so far in his career. Eric Reid will slide over to the strong safety spot, but has not only had injury concerns of his own but concussion issues as well.
This could provide an opportunity for Jerome to land a spot on the roster come September. Sometimes you just can’t keep a guy off the field no matter what challenges or barriers are placed in front of him.
Jerome is that kind of player. The 49ers would be wise to give him the opportunity to shine as he has done in every other place he has played.