Tag Archives: Jerry Tillery

2019 NFL Draft recap, pick-by-pick: AFC West

Lock, the team's second-round pick, finished his career with 12,193 yards passing (second in SEC history).
Denver Broncos Notable picks:  The team traded its 10th overall pick, yet still got the draft’s 21st player overall at Pick 20.  In addition, the team nabbed our 32nd-ranked player in Risner early in the second round. Although Lock was deeper on our board (54th overall), we don’t think the Broncos could have waited any longer to pull the trigger on the third-best QB in the draft.  Of the team’s undrafted free agents, Nevada’s Malik Reed has the most suddenness and could have easily been a draft pick.  For the second consecutive year, John Elway added solid players to an underrated nucleus.  Ultimately, however,  this draft's eventual grade will come down to the development of Lock.
Round,

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‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (20) Traded its first round pick (10th overall) to the Pittsburgh Steelers for the team’s Noah Fant TE/Iowa 21/1st Round Although his teammate T.J. Hockenson won the 2018 John Mackey Award, it was Fant who earned first-team All-Big Ten honors as voted on by the coaches. Fant’s 4.5 speed will be a welcome addition down the seams for new quarterback John Flacco.   
2 (41) Dalton

Risner

OL/Kansas State 32/2nd Round It doesn’t take long to understand the value of Risner, who despite having natural lateral quickness, needs to close off the bottom of the pocket more consistently as an outside tackle.  If he moves back into the center position (where he started in 2015), then we think he’ll challenge for a starting spot.
2 (42)

Acquired from Cincinnati

Drew Lock QB/Missouri 54/2nd Round Lock can challenge all parts of the field with range that is comparable to Joe Flacco, the man he is asked to backup initially in Denver.  We felt that the former Tiger needed a bridge quarterback and Flacco fits the bill.
3 (71) Dre’Mont Jones DT/Ohio State 33/2nd Round Jones’ outstanding footwork frequently allowed him to work over guards after gaining an edge.  For him to become a legitimate starter, he will have to play heavier at the point of attack.
5 (156)

Acquired from Minnesota

Justin Hollins DE-OLB/Oregon 202/4th Round Hollins proved during 2019 East-West Shrine practicesthat he was at least adequate as an exchange LB.  It is a big reason he took home East-West Shrine Game Defensive MVP honors.  The former Duck forced eight fumbles in school. 
6 (187)

Acquired from Carolina

Juwann

Winfree

WR/

Colorado, Maryland

425/5th Round Winfree has unique route-running skill and underrated field speed.  The former Terrapin rarely has to idle himself into patterns.  The Broncos struck gold by staying in-state a year ago with UDFA Pro Bowler Phillip Lindsay and hope to do so again with its sixth-round pick.
Hardman averaged nearly 21 yards per punt return in 2018 and accounted for eight touchdowns (7 REC, 1 PR).

 

Kansas City Chiefs Notable picks: The Chiefs went into the draft looking to add pieces as opposed to having to fill them.  One position of note that the team didn’t address until Day 3 is cornerback.  Heading into the 2019 campaign, they have a rather unproven group of outside cornerbacks.  They will likely have to depend on Kendall Fuller to give them some reps on the flanks after the loss of underrated CB Steven Nelson. In addition, the team is probably depending on Emmanuel Ogbah, who has quietly posted 17 pass break-ups in his career, to be a serviceable left defensive end opposite the recently acquired Frank Clark.
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2 (56)

Acquired from Los Angeles via New England via Chicago

Mecole Hardman All-Purpose/Georgia 72/2nd Round It doesn’t take long to determine where Hardman is inclined to work.  He can become a serious contender for playing time in the slot if he can show increased ball skills and awareness. His biggest strength is the ability to accelerate through the reception, but he left some passes on the field.  We think he is one of the top return threats in the draft. `
2 (63)

Acquired from Los Angeles

Juan

Thornhill

DB/Virginia 179/3rd Round Thornhill, a former corner at Virginia, doesn’t mind mixing it up in coverage.  His biggest weakness came when routes broke away from him (either at safety or corner).  The former high school basketball star uses outstanding leaping ability to supplement first-rate instincts.  He was used in somewhat of a hybrid role in 2018.
3 (84)

Acquired from Seattle

Khalen Saunders DT/Western Illinois 179/3rd Round Saunders has some traits that are similar to former Texas DL and current New Orleans Saints DL Malcom Brown.  An above average athlete, he was a tough block for guards or tackles.  Stamina is a bit of a question mark.
6 (201) Rashad Fenton CB/South Carolina 269/4th Round Have you ever seen a player who may not look as fast as he really is?  This is the case for Fenton, who shined as a kickoff returner at various points of his career.  His quick-footed nature and overall toughness means he could get looks at the nickel back spot.
6 (214) Darwin Thompson RB/Utah State 306/4th Round An explosive Pro Day forced evaluators to go back to the tape for Thompson.  What they found was a patient runner with enough speed to bounce runs outside.  A season that featured a 15.3 yards per reception average proved he can catch too.
7 (216)

Acquired from San Francisco

Nick

Allegretti

OG/Illinois 220/4th Round The former Illini two-time team captain started 36 straight games to end his career. We feel the right guard position gives him the best chance to earn a roster spot. Why?  He shifts his weight on opponents as well as any guard in this year’s draft.

 

Jacobs (No. 8 pictured) scored 14 touchdowns on just 154 touches in 2018.

 

Oakland Raiders Notable pick: Newly-hired GM Mike Mayock selected potential core players who add substance to the roster.  Ferrell and Jacobs both played large parts in each of their respective team’s national championship runs. Although Abram represented a personality pick, how different is he from former West Virginia safety Karl Joseph?  The selection of Crosby means the team now has a number of edge rushers to throw at teams, even if none of them would be described as a dominant game changer. Mullen, Johnson and college free agent Keisean Nixon join a cornerback group suddenly filled with young talent and depth.
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1 (4) Clelin Ferrell DE/Clemson 15/1st Round Ferrell averaged 17 tackles for loss per year over the course of the last three seasons.  His ability to finish on the quarterback is undeniable.  The big knock on him was a relative lack of natural bend off the edge.  He is long enough to compensate.
1 (24) Josh Jacobs RB/Alabama 61/2nd Round Jacobs’ running style and receiving skill largely mirrors that of the runner who started for the Raiders the last two seasons, Marshawn Lynch when he came out of school.  He is just not as fast as Lynch was coming out of school. 
1 (27) Johnathan Abram S/

Mississippi State,

Georgia

52/2nd Round Somewhat of a Donte Whitner-type (Bills, 49ers), Abram could become a complement to fellow safety Karl Joseph.  The former Georgia Bulldog has covered the slot effectively, but we don’t think that’s a role he will be asked to man consistently in the NFL.  He will, however, be asked to lock down tight ends.
2 (40) Trayvon Mullen CB/Clemson 95/3rd Round The former high school WR has positive hand-eye coordination and timing. During his two years as a starter, he displayed a keen sense of handling man or zone assignments.  At 6-foot-1, 199 pounds, he is an adequate tackler. 
4 (106) Maxx

Crosby

DE-OLB/Eastern

Michigan

273/4th Round Crosby’s gangly, unorthodox style conjures up images of former Buffalo Bills star Bryce Paup.  For him to make it, he has to play with more sand in the pants.
4 (129)

Acquired from Indianapolis

Isaiah Johnson CB/Houston 139/3rd Round Johnson’s ability to win in zone coverage comes from his receiving background.  In addition, he is one of the top gunners in the 2019 NFL Draft.  Standing 6-foot-2, 208 pounds, the former wideout will find playing time in some capacity in Year 1.
4 (137)

Compensatory pick acquired from Atlanta

Foster Moreau TE/LSU 181/3rd Round Although he wasn’t featured as a receiving tight end at LSU, Moreau contains underrated athleticism and will be a fine on the move or hand in the dirt Y-tight end.  It would not be a surprise to see his receiving skills expand at the NFL level.  He can create separation at the top of his routes.
5 (149)

Acquired from Dallas via Cincinnati

Hunter

Renfrow

WR/

Clemson

126/3rd Round The operative thinking is that Renfrow turns into a multi-year contributor at the slot wide receiver position and you’re done with it…right?  What about special teams production for a receiver weighing in the 180-pound range?  Despite showing up at the gunner spot (ex: Russell Athletic Bowl ’15), he posted just four career tackles.  He did, however, serve as the team’s emergency punter.
7 (230)

Acquired from Atlanta

Quinton Bell Prairie View A&M N/A Bell averaged 13.6 yards per catch before transitioning to defense in 2018.  He responded with 7.5 quarterback sacks and 10 tackles for losses.  He’s bulked up in weight while still maintaining his explosiveness (41 1/2-inch VJ). 

 

Tranquill (No. 23 pictured), a former safety, finished with 292 career tackles for the Fighting Irish.

 

Los Angeles Chargers Notable picks: Tillery’s unique athleticism (4.33 20-yard short shuttle) and heavy hands (10 5/8”) offsets an inconsistent pad level.   Adderley’s range belies his timed speed.  Pipkins has a skill-set and profile that closely mirrors incumbent right tackle Sam Tevi.  Stick may be used in a surprise role for the team and Broughton can play multiple positions.  Tranquill’s foot speed and safety experience could earn him a role in sub-packages, but we expect him to star on special teams immediately.
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‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (28) Jerry Tillery Notre Dame 19/2nd Round Tillery has all of the tools to be a multi-purpose defensive lineman in the NFL.  His style lends itself to somewhat of an Arik Armstead-type (San Francisco 49ers).  Both players were bunch producers in school.
2 (60) Nasir

Adderley

DB/

Delaware

43/2nd Round Adderley’s timed speed does not accurately represent the speed that really matters….his eye speed. His ability to read the quarterback’s body language really was unparalleled in this year’s draft class.  His major key will be finding a balance when it comes to making open field tackles consistently in space.
3 (91) Trey Pipkins OT/Sioux Falls 119/3rd Round He displays positive bend, impressive mobility and an element of finish necessary to compete on Sundays.  His short lateral kick-slide will have to deepen if he is going to stay outside.  We went into how his outstanding NFL Combine workout would be the final factor in swaying NFL coaches and personnel.
4 (130) Drue

Tranquill

LB/Notre Dame 194/4th Round The former safety uses his 4.5 speed to make plays all over the field.  His stock stayed steady due to his ability to return from a couple of freak ACL injuries during school.  It didn’t stop him from finishing his career with 292 tackles and 25 tackles for losses in 52 career appearances.
5 (166) Easton Stick QB/North Dakota State 301/4th Round His 4.6 40-yard dash time opens eyes, but maybe not even as much as his blistering 6.65 time in the three-cone drill.  It is a big reason he rushed for 41 TDs in school.  He doesn’t have former Bison QB Carson Wentz’s arm, but he does have even more impressive athleticism.  The Chargers will find a way to incorporate it on a deep team.
6 (200) Emeke

Egbule

OLB/

Houston

490/5th Round His defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio said of Egbule, “he’s our most versatile player in space.”  It will be imperative for him show these traits for scouts during training camp to earn a roster spot.
7 (242) Cortez Broughton DL/

Cincinnati

247/4th Round In a deep 2019 defensive tackle class, it probably isn’t a surprise that Broughton was one of the overlooked prospects.  Aside from notching 16.5 tackles for losses in 2018, he also put together a pretty good week at the 2019 East-West Shrine Game. Icing on the cake for Broughton came on Cincinnati’s Pro Day, where he notched an impressive 33 1/2-inch vertical jump at 293 pounds.

Bredeson a key factor for Wolverines

It doesn't take long when watching Michigan junior left guard Ben Bredeson to see why he was named a team captain for 2018.  Along with junior star linebacker Devin Bush, Bredeson is just the second non-senior with eligibility remaining to be named a captain in the Jim Harbaugh-era (https://247sports.com/college/michigan/Article/Offensive-lines-work-ethic-makes-life-easy-for-Ben-Bredeson-121097213/).

Bush, for one, thinks Bredeson has created somewhat of a change for an offense that played second-fiddle to the Wolverines elite defensive unit in 2017 (3rd nationally).

"I want to say Ben Bredeson was a huge asset to that,” Bush said. “Shea coming in, being the person he is, he also created that bond. I think the offense is just a lot closer and a lot more on the same page than it was last year.” (https://www.freep.com/story/sports/college/university-michigan/2018/08/27/michigan-football-ben-bredeson-simpler-offense/1113569002/).

Bredeson (No. 74 pictured at left guard) earned second-team All-Big Ten honors in 2017.

Bredeson slides his feet well versus interior movement; particularly when handling stunts coming from left-to-right.  His hand placement is normally attached in-between the defender's numbers in pass protection, which alleviates an occasional tendency to lean over his toes.  On gap-schemed runs where he is asked to pull on inside powers, linebackers can stack-and-shed him when his helmet location dips at the point of attack.  For a player who doesn't have elite length, he tends to rely on his quick-set to win early in downs.  This is why he has to stay active if he can achieve extension quickly versus defensive linemen.  Perhaps most evident is his ability to slide his feet while his arms are locked-out.   Once he's been challenged vertically, the Wolverines left guard sinks his low back into the chair to re-anchor effectively.  Additionally, his ability to wheel interior three-technique defensive tackles can open up passing lanes for a quarterback in Shea Patterson -who stands 6-foot-1- to look down the field (vs. Notre Dame DT Jerry Tillery (No. 99), 52-yard completion, 3rd QTR, ND '18).

As a run blocker, his hands tend to slide upward into the neck and chest area on some of his reach blocks.  At this stage, he probably uses his frame to engulf more than win with his first couple of steps off the snap going laterally.  His lateral quickness is efficient but not exceptional.  This becomes evident when handling inside line spikes from opponents (from his left to his right).  Although he's a tad higher with his hand in the dirt (pre-snap stance) on passing plays, Bredeson does not give away many pre-snap indicators by being too light on his fingertips.  His 'nasty' play demeanor shows up down-to-down.  If he doesn't have work, he will look to clean-up defensive ends to help his tackles.  When doing so, he rocks the opposition (3rd QTR, smacks No. 91 Ogundeji, Notre Dame '18).

The addition of new offensive line coach Ed Warinner has helped the former four-star recruit and entire offensive line when it comes to technique.   A year after giving up 36 quarterback sacks to rank 13th in the Big Ten, the team is on pace to drop the total (if projected throughout the entire season).  If the unit is going to continue to improve, Bredeson's leadership and playing style will be a big key factor.

2018 Season Preview: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Season outlook

Brian Kelly has won at least 10 games in four of his eight seasons as the head coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and 2018 has the chance to be the fifth 10-win campaign.  There are reasons for optimism in South Bend because the  Fighting Irish have playmakers on each level of the defense and a returning 12-game starter at quarterback.  Offensively, junior quarterback Brandon Wimbush (6'1, 228) will resume his position as the top signal-caller for the Fighting Irish.  Last season, Wimbush finished with 16 touchdowns and six interceptions.  However, he was sacked 25 times and completed just 48-percent of his passes.  In losses to Georgia, Miami and Stanford, Wimbush combined to throw three touchdowns and four interceptions.  If Wimbush can get in concert with his offensive line and get the ball away sooner, then he -along with his defensive playmakers- have the ability to go far this season.  Defensively, senior linebacker Te'Von Coney and senior defensive tackle Jerry Tillery (6'7, 304) dominate in the run game and on the back end junior cornerback Julian Love (5'11, 194) is emerging as one of the best defensive backs in the nation.  The talent and coaching experience is there in South Bend for a memorable season.

Troy's player to watch

4 Te'Von Coney 6'1 235 LB-Senior
Coney (No. 4 pictured) registered 17 tackles versus LSU in the 2018 Citrus Bowl.

Coney fits the mold of a sideline-to-sideline inside linebacker and his skills are reminiscent of the Jaguars' Telvin Smith.  Coney also has enough strength to absorb contact with running backs and drive them backwards.  Last year, the senior linebacker finished with 116 tackles, three quarterback sacks and11.5 tackles for losses.  If he can sharpen his skills in pass coverage, he has all the makings to be a potential Day 2 NFL prospect.

Game of the season 

September 1st against Michigan
The season opener will set the tone for the Fighting Irish.  Michigan hasn't played Notre Dame since 2014 and in that game, the Wolverines, lost 31-0. Notre Dame and Michigan both have College Football Playoff aspirations and a week one victory in South Bend would be a big boost to either team.

DraftNasty's Prospect Watch

53 Sam Mustipher 6'2 306 OC-Senior
Mustipher has been a contributor since 2015 and a starter the last two seasons for an impressive offensive line.  His 'nasty' in sending messages to defensive linemen stands out on film.  He can sink his frame in both pass protection and as a run blocker.  Aside from

Mustipher (No. 53 pictured) will perform as a graduate student in 2018.

getting to his spot on angle blocks, his quickness aids him effectively on combination blocks.  For him to improve his draft stock, Mustipher needs to improve his latch-and-sustain.  His size -while adequate- has gotten him into trouble versus leverage players at the point of attack in short yardage (Phillips, Stanford '17).   Over the course of the last three years, he has rounded himself into much better shape than he was earlier in his career.

Prediction: 11-1

Notre Dame has the potential to run the table like they did during the 2012 season. Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish will finish with its lone loss coming against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, according to DraftNasty's Troy Jefferson.