LA Chargers defensive line grades: Jerry Tillery
The problem for Tillery in year one was really, really bad run-stopping ability. He quickly became a liability whenever he was on the field for a team. It got to the point where Anthony Lynn had to bench him or limit his snaps against offenses that were particularly run-heavy.
2019 was certainly a year in which Tillery failed to meet expectations. However, I’m also not ready to slap the bust label on him yet. Tillery missed a lot of the offseason program last year after predraft surgery to repair a torn labrum. That’s not an easy transition for a rookie, especially when OTAs and rookie minicamps can be vital.
It’s all about being a solid rotational piece for Tillery in 2020. No one is expecting him to light the world on fire, especially since he won’t be a starter. Perhaps a comparison can be made from Jones’ 2018 to 2019-gradual improvements that further his development.
For what it’s worth, Tillery was a good tackler in his rookie year. He also got better at pass rush as the year went on. If Tillery can make improvements against run blocking schemes, he could develop into a solid piece sooner rather than later.
It’s hard to know what type of offseason program the Chargers will have due to the coronavirus pandemic, but fans should hope Nasir Adderley and Tillery get as many reps as possible.
LA Chargers DT grade: B-
The Chargers have one of the best, if not the best defensive end duo in the league with Bosa and Ingram. The two wreak havoc, even through double teams. The question on the defensive line is if the interior is able to get more push or not.
Personally, the chances of that seem good. Joseph is a younger and more dynamic than Mebane was. Jones showed progress in 2019. The jury is still out on Tillery, and I’m hopeful for more progress.
The interior line feels like it’s in a better place going into 2020 than it was in 2019. In grading the defensive tackles last year, I gave the grade of a C+. This is ultimately a better, more youthful group with more potential on the interior.