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Elite Defensive Tackles in the 2019 NFL Draft

  • Here are the best five pass rushers in the 2019 NFL Draft class.
Raj Kiran
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 01 Apr 2020, 17:29 IST
NFL Combine - Day 4
NFL Combine - Day 4

In the current pass-driven NFL era, the value of a dominant pass rusher is second to none and is worth his weight in gold but unfortunately the last 2 draft classes have seen only one defensive tackle being taken in the first round, Taven Bryan to the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2018.

The 2019 NFL Draft though unlike the last two drafts promises to be a better one for defensive tackles trying to get the call in the first round, the talent in this year's draft class is elite and has the potential to make an impact on the field from day 1.

Here are the top-5 Defensive Tackles from 2019's Draft Class:

#5 Jerry Tillery (Notre Dame)

Jerry Tillery (99)
Jerry Tillery (99)

Many would have had a thought about what would have been if Jerry Tillery had played out his college career as an offensive tackle rather than his current position of defensive tackle, would he have achieved the same success? Well we will never know the answer to that but we sure do know that the former 4-star offensive line recruit out of high school was a destructive presence in Notre Dame's defensive line and now has his eyes set on the pro level.

Tillery is a rare breed when it comes to pass rushing ability, his size fits perfectly with NFL franchises' mindset about defensive tackles. On the field, he goes to work quickly, gaining contact faster than his matchups with his long 34 inch arms, his two go-to rushing moves the snap-rip and cross chop are quite destructive. If he gains the right amount of leverage, can reset the line of scrimmage with his burst and play strength. Tillery is at his best as a three-tech in a 4-3 alignment but does have upside as a five-tech in a 3-4 alignment.

As for weaknesses, he lacks elite-level flexibility and thus fails to close down runners capable of changing direction quickly, this may limit his chances of playing on the outside. While he did have a dominant senior year for Notre Dame, consistency on every rep is something he should look to improve on as he joins the pros. His run-defence also needs improvement.

Finally in conclusion, a disruptive interior pass-rusher, an effective yet improving run-defender with athleticism and an elite level reach, Jerry Tillery has the tools to be an intriguing prospect with first-round traits.

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Published 23 Apr 2019, 15:22 IST
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