The Chargers have signed 2019 first-round draft choice Jerry Tillery, per a team announcement. In accordance with his slot, Tillery will receive a four-year, $11.4MM deal with a $6.3MM signing bonus.
The Bolts had just three defensive tackles on the roster going into the 2019 draft, so Tillery, a 6-6, 300-pound DT from Notre Dame, filled an obvious need. Plus, GM Tom Telesco said Tillery was the only player left on his board with a first-round grade by the time the Chargers were on the clock with the No. 28 overall pick (h/t Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com).
Los Angeles would continue to add front-seven talent in the draft after the Tillery selection, but Tillery’s ability to generate an interior pass rush is particularly appealing given that it could open up even more opportunities for Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Tillery did suffer a torn labrum in his shoulder during his final collegiate season, which ultimately required surgery, but he is still expected to be ready for training camp.
In his final year with the Fighting Irish, Tillery registered seven sacks and 8.5 tackles for a loss. He also had a strong showing at the combine, including the best SPARQ score (a measurement of overall athleticism) of any defensive linemen.
With Tillery in the fold, only second-rounder Nasir Adderly and third-rounder Trey Pipkins remain unsigned from the Chargers’ 2019 draft class.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.