Jerry Jacobs is chasing his NFL dream with the Detroit Lions.
Jerry Jacobs is a player worth rooting for. His father was never in the picture and his mother died of pneumonia when he was young. He was essentially raised by his older sisters according to reports. Unlike many, who fall into the well-documented pitfalls that are ever more present for kids coming up in such circumstances, Jacobs was an honor student in high school. Unlike many NCAA athletes, he got his degree.
Jacobs was a four-sport athlete in high school but focused on football at the collegiate level. He started his NCAA career in the Sun Belt with Arkansas State and built a reputation as a ball-hawk. In 2018, Jacobs put up four picks and broke up eight passes. His 2019 season was cut short by an ACL tear, and he moved west to Arkansas for the 2020 season. He was on the roster for four games of the 2020 season before he opted out of the remainder of the year. The last full season of action we got from Jacobs was 2018. Lions scouts have done some deep digging to find this player.
Jacobs is thick for a corner. He measured in at 5’10” and 208 lbs at the Arkansas pro day while putting up a 4.53 40 and a 4.33 in the short shuttle. Those are numbers that have led some people like Lance Zuerlein to speculate that Jacobs might be well served by a move to safety. Admittedly, those numbers are more in line with a free safety’s expected measurables than an outside corner. Jacobs has experience in a variety of coverages, and he’s an aggressive tackler for a corner. That speaks well of his potential to make the roster for the real reason that players 40-53 are on the NFL roster: special teams.
Jacobs could not have had a less beneficial run-up to his draft year. The 2019 injury followed by a transfer during the mess that was 2020 for all of us left Jacobs on the outside looking in on draft day, but Lions scouts and GM Brad Holmes made a decision to offer the young man a shot. Lions fans all know the safety position is one where a route to the roster exists for the right player. The Lions did not bring in a great deal of free-agent help or hit the position in the draft as many expected.
Jacobs has been extremely generous to us at the Detroit Lions Podcast. He has agreed to a series of interviews in which Chris and Jeff will discuss the experience of a player doing everything he can to get a shot at an NFL roster. Whether Jerry lands with the Lions or he catches on somewhere else, the podcast is going to follow up with him throughout the season periodically for updates. This is an NFL story rarely told until the player finds success, we’re going to take the journey with Jacobs to help NFL fans understand the trials and tribulations of players who have everything to win.