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Why the Chargers selected DT Jerry Tillery at #28

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff Semifinal-Cotton Bowl-Notre Dame vs Clemson Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

With the 28th-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers selected Notre Dame defensive tackle Jerry Tillery.

The pick may be quite frustrating to some fans given that two of the top four offensive tackles were still on the board. After all, Oklahoma’s Cody Ford and Florida’s Jawaan Taylor were seen as potential top-10 picks in the months prior to the draft and would have filled a giant need for the team.

However, Tom Telesco must have seen the lack of interior defenders on the current roster as a much larger need in the present day and went with the monolithic Tillery who measures in at 6-foot-7 and 305 pounds.

Tillery’s versatility was likely the deciding factor for Telesco and company as he can play all along the defensive line from lining up over the center in a zero or one-technique to a five-technique out over the offensive tackle.

Finally the Chargers have a presence along the interior that demands attention. Over the last few years, Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram have been the two to garner opponent’s gazes. With Tillery in the middle it will cause quarterbacks to think twice before pulling the trigger in fear of getting their passes knocked down at the line of scrimmage.

At the NFL combine, Tillery had one of the best workouts, regardless of position. His 4.95 forty and 32-inch vertical are plenty impressive for a 300-pound man while his 4.33 short-shuttle time is a sparkling time for someone of his stature.

For the time being, the Chargers have filled a massive need that they have been lacking for years. It’s time to get excited, regardless of the “what if’s”.