2. Jerry Tillery
I understand why the LA Chargers did not draft a defensive tackle in the 2021 NFL Draft but I think it might be a mistake. While the margin for error might seem to be greater at safety because of Adderley’s play thus far, the defensive tackle position very well could be the undercover problem of the Bolts’ defense.
I can already see how it blows up. Linval Joseph is one year older and is on the wrong side of 30. Sure, he was fine last season, but we have seen how quickly players regress in the NFL and how older players are much more likely to be injured.
All it takes is for Joseph not to be who he was last year and Jerry Tillery to continue playing how he has been through two years, mistakes and all. The team has an okay depth option in Justin Jones, but that is really it.
The big hole at the defensive tackle position is run defense. Even when healthy, the Chargers are going to have some fits against the interior running game unless Tillery can completely flip his game on running downs around. That is why a run-stuffing defensive tackle seemed likely in the mid-to-late rounds.
The team did not go that route and for better or worse, Jerry Tillery’s stock rose because of it. Like Adderley, the Chargers are displaying faith in Tillery and are giving him the chance to prove if he can take that next step in year three or if his career is going to be what it has been already.