Following the Chargers’ selection of Tillery with the No. 28 overall pick in the most recent draft, most Chargers fans loved the pick. Media personalities and draft analysts who cover the league seemed to agree that it was a great fit.
That’s why it has been a huge surprise to see him be such a non-factor during his rookie season.
After getting bullied by the New England Patriots in last year’s playoffs, the Chargers wanted to get stronger against the run. But the team also wanted an athletic defensive lineman who could also get after the quarterback.
Tillery checked those boxes.
However, to date, Tillery has played on just 36.4 percent of the team’s defensive snaps. For the season, he has 12 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Last week against Jacksonville, he was inactive, a healthy scratch. No first-round pick ever wants that status.
There could be many reasons for this, but this coaching staff has been known to bring along high draft picks slowly, just look at the career of Forrest Lamp.
Tillery needs to be on the field and playing a high number of snaps over these next three games. If he’s not, why are you spending a first-round pick on him? Sure, Sylvester Williams and Damion Square have been much more effective this season, but the team doesn’t have anywhere near the investment in those players as it does in Tillery.
If Tillery is inactive this week against the Vikings, that can’t be a good sign.