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2019 NFL Mock Draft: Eagles take large interior pass rusher at No. 25

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How’re you feeling about this pick?

Vanderbilt v Notre Dame Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

There are 51 days until the 2019 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 25. We’re going to kill some time until then with our weekly Mock Draft Monday series. (You can also check out BGN’s latest mock draft roundup.)

“But it’s not Monday!” Yes, I’m aware. The NFL Combine was still going on yesterday so SB Nation’s Dan Kadar didn’t post his weekly mock draft until earlier today.

In any case, Kadar has a new first-round pick for the Philadelphia Eagles. Same position as last week’s selection but a different player this time:

25. Philadelphia Eagles: Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame

Offseason needs: Cornerback, offensive tackle, running back, defensive line

Ohio State’s Dre’Mont Jones had an underwhelming showing at Lucas Oil Stadium, and Mississippi State’s Jeffery Simmons might miss the season after tearing his ACL while training. That opens things up for a player like Tillery to rise up. He could line up next to Fletcher Cox and make plays from the inside.

My initial reaction was this seems like a reach for the Eagles. BGN draft expert Michael Kist said taking Tillery at No. 25 is “rich for [his] tastes.”

But after looking at the rest of the board, which doesn’t have the Eagles passing on anyone incredibly appealing, and doing more research on Tillery ... I suppose I can see the case being made.

The 22-year-old Tillery had a strong showing at this year’s NFL Combine. Just look at these numbers for the 6-6, 295 pound defensive tackle (via Mockdraftable):

A big, athletic, pass-rushing defensive tackle is certainly something the Eagles should be looking to add to their roster. Philadelphia is potentially going to need a new starter next to Fletcher Cox with Timmy Jernigan and Haloti Ngata set to be free agents.

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein graded Tillery as a player who “should become [an] instant starter.” Scouting report:

Tillery is a projection-based prospect with first-class traits and dominant potential, but he’s still searching for more consistency from game to game. While his frame is suited for a role as an end in a classic 3-4 scheme, he has plenty of tape showing he shouldn’t be scheme dependent on the next level. Scouts would like to see more dominant tape considering his size and power, but if he takes coaching and learns to unleash his hands, he could become an unruly interior force and good three-down starter.

And here’s The Draft Network scouting report on him:

Criticized for inconsistency earlier in his career, Tillery put everything together as a senior and had a dominant season. His blend of power, length, mass, flexibility and athleticism gives him immense playmaking potential against the run and pass. While he is still fine-tuning some things in terms of technique, Tillery should be able to factor into the defensive line rotation right away. A versatile prospect, Tilley projects favorably to a three-technique role but he can also two-gap as a five-technique.

Tillery is a player that Pro Football Focus is very high on. He graded out as an elite interior pass rusher:

Here are some film clips that go behind the numbers:

Christian Wilkins is my ideal pick for the Eagles at No. 25 overall but he didn’t make it there in this mock. Instead, he went off the board at No. 17. Tillery could be the next best defensive tackle option for Philly in the first round. BGN’s Benjmain Solak has Tillery as his fifth best interior lineman, just behind the big four of Quinnen Williams, Ed Oliver, Jeffery Simmons, and the aforementioned Wilkins.

What say you?

Poll

Should the Eagles draft Jerry Tillery at No. 25 overall?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Yes
    (713 votes)
  • 47%
    No
    (640 votes)
1353 votes total Vote Now