One prospect why may interest the Denver Broncos in the first-round of the 2019 NFL Draft is former Notre Dame defensive lineman, Jerry Tillery. He’s a 6’6”, 295lb defensive lineman who is considered one of the more intriguing prospects in the entire draft. Tillery is ranked as the fifth best defensive lineman in the 2019 NFL Draft according to The Draft Network, and is ranked as the 31st overall prospect in the draft.
Jerry Tillery is a baaaaaad man pic.twitter.com/yG7PPGtvqS— Barstool Irish (@BarstoolIrish) October 28, 2018
According to NFL Network’s draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah, Jerry Tillery is ranked as the 34th ranked prospect in the draft.
Tillery has rare height/length for the position. He is a very streaky player on tape. As a pass rusher, there are games where he dominates (see: Stanford game, when he logged four sacks) with a combination of quick hands, power and effort. However, there are other games where he’s content to hang on blocks and play too high. In the run game, he flashes the ability to stack, toss and pursue the ball. He still needs to lower his pad level, but he rarely gives ground at the point of attack. Overall, Tillery isn’t going to fit every team, but he shows some flashes, similar to DeForest Buckner. He just needs to become more consistent.
Tillery played a total of four seasons at Notre Dame and turned into one of their best defensive players during that span. During his four-year career at Notre Dame, TIllery totaled 133 tackles, 23 tackles for a loss, 12.5 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. This past season, Tillery totaled 28 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, 7 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.
The accolades TIllery earned and collected during his time at Notre Dame via und.com
Honors and awards:
- Bednarik Award Watch List (2018)
- Outland Trophy Watch List (2018)
- Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List (2018)
- Moose Krause Lineman of the Year (2017)
- Notre Dame Defensive Newcomer of the Year (2015)
Senior season (2018):
- Maxwell Award finalist
- Named Midseason All-America by Sporting News (1st team)
- The Athletic (1st team)
- Sports Illustrated (1st team) & AP (2nd team)
- Named to the Pro Football Focus College Team of the Week after two sacks and a forced fumble in win over No. 14 Michigan
- After four sacks, forced a fumble and added two QB hurries in win over No. 7 Stanford, named Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week, Bronco Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week and Reese’s Senior Bowl Senior of the Week
- Team-best eight sacks and three forced fumbles with 30 total tackles (10.5 for loss) and five QB hurries
Senior | Defensive Lineman | Notre Dame
Height: 6’6” | Weight: 295lbs | 40-time: 4.93 seconds
Arm Length: 34 1/4” | Hands: 10 5/8”
Bench Press: 23 reps | Vertical Jump: 32 inches | Broad Jump: 115.0 inches
3-Cone Drill: 7.45 seconds | 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.33 seconds
- Well built and looks like an NFL defensive lineman
- Has the size you look for and has a frame that can add more muscle mass
- Has long arms which he uses to his advantage
- Powerful player who pushes lineman backwards
- Good athleticism for a man of his size
- Good initial burst and times the snap well
- Excellent interior pass rusher
- Good tackler and uses his size/length to his advantage in this area
- Moves well enough in space for a man of size
- Has the versatility to play in multiple fronts and schemes
- Effort was evident on tape
- High upside player who can flourish if he lands with the right coaching staff
- Good athlete but you see some stiffness in his game which should be expected
- You see him end up on the ground more than you would like
- Bit of a one-year wonder which is always concerning
- Has some minor red flags that need to checked on but nothing too concerning in my opinon
- Effort and work ethic have been mentioned as a weakness, but those went away after his 2018 season
Mockdraftable Spider Graph:
The Draft Network’s Kyle Crabbs on Jerry Tillery.
“Jerry Tillery enjoyed a breakout season in 2018, showing much better conditioning and mobility along the line of scrimmage. If able to sustain that development, Tillery projects as an eventual starter. In the immediate time frame, Tillery projects as a power pass rusher who wins most when allowed to charge hard out of his stance and push up the field in an effort to reset the line of scrimmage.”
Does Jerry Tillery make sense for the Denver Broncos in the first-round of the 2019 NFL Draft?:
If the Broncos trade back, I would absolutely love this fit.
TIllery is a big man, with good athleticism, and potential through the roof. Let Broncos defensive line coach Bill Kollar and Head Coach Vic Fangio get their hands on him and we could have a special player right here.
Jerry Tillery is a menace. Puts the RG on skates with the long arm pic.twitter.com/9sMvGCW2QY— Ty Wurth (@WurthDraft) February 6, 2019
He can collapse the pocket and make life miserable for the opposing quarterback. With Von and Chubb coming off the edges, you will need someone to push that pocket and get those clean up sacks. Something you saw Tillery do while at Notre Dame.
Now, Tillery is likely a mid to late first-round player, so the Broncos would only be potential suitors if they traded back first. That scenario could play out, and if it does, I could see Tillery among the prospects that GM John Elway and others decide between.