NAME: Jerry Tillery
SCHOOL: Notre Dame
POSITION: Interior Defensive Line
JERSEY: No. 99
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
WT: 306 lbs
D.O.B.: Not Available
Competitive Toughness – Secondary effort is fantastic. May not be the most fleet of foot but will beat teammates to the ball in pure hustle. Has plenty of functional play strength but consistency is a needed key going forward. when playing forward provides ample physical power and toughness.
Two Gap Ability – Has more promise than results, even after a breakout season in 2018. Needs to find more separation stacking blocks to cross the face of blocks and challenge ball carriers. Possesses requisite strength and length to fulfill role but will require notable development.
Gap Penetration Skills – Can get challenged with lateral contact but offers plenty of splash plays if able to work hip to hip out of his stance before being collisioned. Thick, powerful frame creates a lot of forward push, although ability to sit down after bursting through a gap to finish a TFL is modest.
Tackling – Head up challenges are hit or miss but power in tight spaces is terrific. Capable of one arming a ball carrier while in the pile and wrangling down the ball carrier with powerful upper body. Wingspan is a large weapon in influence of the ball carrier pressing into the LOS.
Flexibility – Tightness through the hips and trunk show up in efforts to redirect with quickness or when trying to flatten and mirror the ball carrier. Has leverage issues at the line of scrimmage as well, will allow defenders under his chest and get rocked back against double teams and drive blocks.
Pass Rush Counters – Power rusher who puts blockers on their heels with urgent forward push in rush situations. Will throw and extend hands to collapse a set and transition into a hand pull or a club to produce space to step through space and generate pressure.
First Step Quickness – Gears up effectively to charge hard out of his stance, often times being the first defender to react to the ball in his rushes. Natural acceleration skills appear effective in slant and gap penetration opportunities. Is able to generate an effective burst after uncovering in second effort as well.
Feet/Change Of Direction – Does not slide effectively when looking to scrape off of contact, instead will concede ground. Is not a fluid athlete in open space. Steps run the inside arc effectively and doesn’t bow his rushes with unnecessary width to create steeper angles for himself.
Versatility – Does not showcase a great deal of outside skills but has the upside to develop into a more effective every down defender at the NFL level. Immediate upside stands as an interior power rusher. Could feasibly play in an odd front for a more patient coaching staff.
BEST TRAIT – Length
WORST TRAIT – Flexibility
BEST FILM – Stanford (2018)
WORST FILM – Georgia (2017)
RED FLAGS – Underachiever
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.