Jerry Tillery Released, Should Eagles Be Interested?

Jerry Tillery was once selected 28th overall by the Los Angeles Chargers. He has since flamed out with the team that selected him. Less than four seasons later he finds himself released, but which team will land this talented reclamation project?

Former First Round Pick Available

The writing was on the wall for Tillery in L.A. this past offseason when they declined his fifth year option in May. This meant no matter how he performed the 6’6 295 lb 3-4 defensive end would hit free agency. Rather than waiting another 2 plus months the Chargers have released Tillery. The question now becomes when and where he will land.

Currently the number one team in terms of record, the Philadelphia Eagles have a need on the interior of the defensive line. With Jordan Davis landing on IR, Milton Williams splitting time at DE, and Fletcher Cox not getting any younger, maybe Tillery makes some sense for the Eagles to bring in as depth.


First of all the defensive schemes that Brandon Staley and Jonathan Gannon run are not drastically different. They like to run multiple fronts featuring versatile linemen that can slide to other positions at times. That was the plan for Tillery with the Chargers. However Philly doesn’t need Tillery to fill that role, in fact given the addition of Robert Quinn, many would argue that Tillery really only needs to focus on interior defensive line. 

Playing as a true 4-3 defensive tackle, Tillery might see a benefit given his relative speed and burst for the position. Playing end he was a step slow, playing tackle he will beat guards with his quick first step. He also won’t be asked to face double teams as often playing next to Hargrove, Cox, Quinn, Josh Sweat, or Brandon Graham. That’s what makes this team so good, their rotational depth allows them to keep players fresh.


Expectations will be much lower in Philly. After being released As a former first round pick you’re automatically considered a bust. So the next team to sign you will not be expecting monumental production. In fact with Philadelphia Tillery would be the third defensive tackle off the bench, at best. This in itself could change everything for Tillery who by the way has 106 tackles, 33 QB Hits, 10.5 sacks, 12 tackles for a loss, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 tipped passes in 54 games so far.

Jerry Tillery is a solid player, who needs a fresh start. The Eagles are a team on a roll, that could use some depth at the position that he happens to play. Tillery may look like a very similar player to Milton Williams on the surface, they truly aren’t as close as it would appear. Tillery is 3 inches taller than Williams, and outweighs him by just 5 pounds. However he isn’t the athlete that Williams is either.

Jerry Tillery:

Milton Williams:

As you can see, Williams is faster, more explosive, and more agile. He also happens to test much stronger than Tillery, which is my only concern when asking Tillery to play inside full-time. With that being said, if any coach can get Tillery back on track, it’s Tracy Rocker who has coached defensive line since two seasons before Tillery was born (10/8/96). Rocker has only ever coordinated defenses or coached defensive line his entire career, and is currently in his 31st season as a coach. Rocker also used to play the position himself.

Final Words

If Jerry Tillery was a 3rd round pick he never would have been released. A lot of times players get over drafted because a team falls in love with traits they offer. Whether it’s his size 6’6 295 lbs, strength 23 reps in the bench press, or his quick first step as evidenced by his 1.69 10 yard shuttle, teams will find reasons to give him a second chance. What better team than the only undefeated squad in the league?

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