Lorenzo Jerome, S, Saint Francis (PA): 2017 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Jan 28, 2017; Mobile, AL, USA; North squad safety Lorenzo Jerome of Saint Francis (PA) (22) returns an interception against South squad fullback Freddie Stevenson of Florida State (43) and running back Jamaal Williams of Brigham Young (21) during the fourth quarter at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 28, 2017; Mobile, AL, USA; North squad safety Lorenzo Jerome of Saint Francis (PA) (22) returns an interception against South squad fullback Freddie Stevenson of Florida State (43) and running back Jamaal Williams of Brigham Young (21) during the fourth quarter at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports /

Lorenzo Jerome, a 2013 two-star recruit, started 35 of 42 career games for Saint Francis (PA).

His first two career starts came at cornerback before making the switch to free safety. He missed two games in 2016, against Central Connecticut State and Sacred Heart, due to injury. For his career, he recorded 252 tackles, 18 interceptions and 47 passes defended while playing for one head coach and four different defensive coordinators.

Jerome, a four-time first-team all-Northeast Conference selection as a defensive back and three-time first-team returner, participated in both the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and Senior Bowl following the 2016 season. After recording two interceptions and being named MVP of the NFLPA Bowl, he followed up with another two interception performance (as well as a forced fumble) at the Senior Bowl.

Jerome will participate in this year’s Scouting Combine and is expected to be the third player in school history to be selected in the NFL Draft. He possesses adequate size and length on an athletic frame with excellent athletic ability.


Height: 5’10” 1/2

Weight: 202 lbs.

Arm: 30-1/2”

Hand: 8-5/8”

Games Watched

2016: Montana, Robert Morris, Towson, Villanova

2015: Georgetown


Lorenzo Jerome diagnoses the play quickly and isn’t fooled by play action as a result of good mental processing skills. He displays loose hips which allow him to change direction quickly as he watches the quarterback from zone coverage. Once the ball is thrown, he demonstrates solid explosiveness towards the point of attack and tracks the ball very well in the air.

Jerome utilizes excellent play speed to cover a broad range between the numbers from the deep safety position. However, his range from a shallow zone is even more impressive. In the play below, Robert Morris has three receivers lined up to the left of the offensive formation. The focus here will be on the two to the inside. Both run out routes, with the inside receiver running a two-yard out and the middle running a 12-yard out. Jerome reads the quarterback’s eyes and immediately jumps the shallow out. This forces the QB to move through his progressions to the deeper out route. Jerome retreats to the deep area of his zone and can come away with the interception.

Jerome possesses elite ball skills with a large catch radius and excellent hands to make a play on the ball. Once the ball is in his hands, he displays good awareness to follow his blocks and attempt to score. He recorded eight touchdowns in college, scoring five different ways. He returned three kickoffs, two interceptions, one punt and one fumble for a score, while also catching a touchdown pass on offense.

As a blitzer, Jerome does a solid job avoiding blockers and getting to the quarterback both off the edge and between the tackles.

Against the run, Jerome quickly closes from high to low while taking solid angles to the football on runs between the tackles. He does a good job shedding blocks and getting to the hole, forcing the play back inside. On the following play, he explodes to the hole from his safety position. The receiver in motion at the top of the screen is supposed to seal the edge with a crackback block. However, Jerome beats him to the hole. This forces the running back to take the play back inside where he is gang tackled for a loss. Jerome’s contribution on the play won’t show up in the box score, but he turned a potential big play into a loss.

When the back attacks Jerome in the hole, the safety demonstrates solid play strength to make a stop and bring the ball carrier to the ground. He’s a reliable tackler who wraps up to secure the tackle in the open field. He also isn’t afraid to lay a shoulder into his opponent to make his presence known.

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  • On special teams, Jerome is an electrifying returner who displays the vision and athletic ability to score on any given play. The former dual-threat quarterback led the FCS in 2015, averaging 31.2 yards per kick return and finished second in that category in 2016 with an average of 28.9 yards per return.


    Lorenzo Jerome does an adequate job of mirroring routes from man coverage as he’s often caught trying to take a look back at the quarterback. On this play against Montana, Jerome is caught watching the QB rather than playing his man from the right side of the offensive formation. This allows the receiver to create separation at the top of his route and give his QB a large window to place the football. Montana’s Brady Gustafson was one of the top quarterbacks in the FCS last year and used his eyes to deceive Jerome on the play. NFL quarterbacks do this all the time, and it is something Jerome must improve upon if he’s going to match up against tight ends and slot receivers at the next level.

    On outside runs or screens, Jerome takes marginal angles to the football, allowing the ball carrier to gain extra yardage. He does not possess the straight-line speed to recover once the ball is behind him.


    Overall, Lorenzo Jerome is a starting safety in the NFL who wins with instincts and ball skills. He’s not someone who should be counted on to play a lot of man coverage early in his career. The first order of business for the team selecting Jerome is deciding whether to play him at free or strong safety.

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    Jerome is versatile and could play either position in some schemes such as cover 2 or cover four where he would be responsible for half the field from a deep zone. In a cover 3, he possesses both the range to be the lone deep safety and the quickness and instincts to play a shallow zone outside against the run or pass. Cover 0 and cover 1 are the two coverages his future team will need to watch.

    In cover 0, he should only be used as a blitzing safety. It is too much of a risk at this point in his career to ask him to play man coverage with no deep safety. In cover 1, he has proven he has the range to play a deep zone, but again should not be put in man coverage from the strong safety spot.

    Jerome is an incredibly talented safety which proved he deserves to be mentioned along with some of the top safeties in this class with his performances in the NFLPA and Senior Bowls. His game against Robert Morris in 2016 may be the best individual performance by a safety in this entire draft class. His stock is on the rise, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to hear his name called on the second day of the 2017 NFL Draft.