DT Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame

6’7” – 295 lbs. – 4.93
Started three of twelve games played as a freshman, then spent the last three seasons as a full-time starter, posting 37-3.0-0.0, 56-9.0-4.5, and 30-10.5-8.0 over the past three seasons, respectively. Massive defensive lineman who plays different techniques on the inside for the Irish; projects as more of a nose tackle in an even defensive front, or potentially a five-technique on a three-man defensive line. Typically effective but inconsistent run defender who plays the game with a physical, aggressive demeanor. Primarily a two-gapper, and is probably best-suited to that type of defensive front at the next level because of his size and strength. Flashes the ability to fire out of his stance low and with explosiveness. Exhibits the raw power to reset the line of scrimmage. Generates pop on contact and keeps his legs driving afterward. Capable of dropping the anchor and digging in against double-teams, or even splitting them to penetrate into the backfield. Has the short-area quickness to threaten gaps as more of a penetrator when he’s hot. On less successful snaps, could do a better job of extending his arms and keeping his head up and his shoulders square; too many clumsy movements or snaps where he drops his head and loses track of the ball. Needs to wrap the ballcarrier more consistently. Pass-rushing production escalated over the course of his career; was on the field for a lot of third-down plays during the games reviewed. Above-average athlete for his size. Motor can wax and wane; can be seen idling around the line of scrimmage a little bit too much. Go-to move is a violent bull-rush, but can also grab opponents and ragdoll them. Does a good job of mixing up his rushes; not a major threat to get immediate penetration off the snap, but can collapse the pocket or disrupt opposing quarterbacks. Draws a lot of double-teams from opposing lines, creating opportunities for teammates. Has a good feel for sliding and locating clear paths to the passer. However, nearly a third of his career sacks came in one game (Stanford, four sacks in 2018). Has one of the highest ceilings of any defensive line prospect in this year’s class, with an excellent combination of size, power, and physicality. However, there are some instances in which he looks a little bit stilted and clunky, and technical problems which he’ll have to clean up. Looks like a top-ten pick in some games and just a guy in others.

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