Chargers: Jerry Tillery vs 2019 NFL Draft class so far
Chargers: What could have been
Dalton Risner was the most frequently mocked player to the Chargers prior to the NFL draft, and although it was possible he could have played guard, many hoped he would come in and take over at right tackle.
What surprised every fan was not only seeing Risner on the board at No. 28, but also Jawaan Taylor and Cody Ford. What shocked fans even more: Passing on all three.
Hindsight is 20/20, but most every Chargers fan knew the decision to pass on linemen until an inexcusable reach in the third round was going to come back and bite the team eventually. Philip Rivers was under pressure on over 70 percent of his first half snaps in Foxborough, but it appeared the organization was willing to gamble on the growth of their own players to fix the offensive line. Though free agency could have filled depth at tackle, most Chargers fans knew Tom Telesco would not break the bank given his limited funds this year and the prospect of having to sign players like Joey Bosa and Philip Rivers in the coming years. That’s what made the pass on a tackle in the first round even more surprising, as potentially premium talent could be had for much cheaper and for many years at No. 28.
But, then again, the Chargers did not sack Tom Brady once in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. They needed to either protect the quarterback or get after opposing quarterbacks. So, with Tillery, they opted to go for the latter. Was it the right call?
Here’s how Sam Tevi and Trent Scott compare to those three linemen mentioned previously:
Dalton Risner (LG), Jawaan Taylor (RT), and Cody Ford (mostly RT) have allowed 42 pressures and 10 sacks combined (which isn't spectacular or anything).
Trent Scott and Sam Tevi (before this game): 63 pressures and 11 sacks.
— Bolt Beat (@BB_Chargers) November 8, 2019
Those numbers, as mentioned in the tweet, were before the game against the Raiders.
Tillery is not a bust, simply because he hasn’t played enough games, let alone years, to even be considered one. Though he has not been stellar, he’s somewhere statistically in the middle of his draft class, and he has so much time ahead of him to grow. But the issue is simply this: He has not helped this team win a single game this season, or contributed in a significant enough way where one could say his efforts pushed the team to victory. Tillery, as of right now, is maybe the third-best interior defensive lineman the Chargers have on their roster. Alternatively, looking at offensive tackle, the trio of available players at No. 28 have been better statistically than Tevi and Scott (though Risner has predominantly played left guard). Tillery has not won the team any games, but would having Risner, Ford, or Taylor at tackle changed the outcome of any of the Chargers’ six losses?