Chargers’ GM Tom Telesco on 1st-round pick Jerry Tillery: ‘He’ll have a role as an interior player’

The Los Angeles Chargers gave 13 players first-round grades in this year’s NFL Draft.

When you own the 28th overall pick, as the Chargers did, that isn’t exactly a source of comfort.

‘For us, the last couple years, we were looking to add an interior player with his style’

However, according to Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco, the team placed one of its first-round grades on former Notre Dame defensive lineman Jerry Tillery. They believe the 6-foot-6, 296-pounder has a promising future in the middle of their defensive line.

“He’s a big man, he’s very flexible for his size, has good feet and he’s athletic.”

“For us, the last couple years, we were looking to add an interior player with his style, a little more length, a little more pass rush in the interior and the way that he does it,” Telesco told Bruce Murray and Bill Polian on the SiriusXM Blitz. “He’s a big man, he’s very flexible for his size, has good feet and he’s athletic. There’s definitely some tools to work with to develop him. He’ll have a role for us as an interior player.”

‘He was our last first-round graded player and we’re picking 28th, so we were very lucky there’

Telesco said the total of players receiving first-round grades from the Chargers was “a lot lower than we usually have.” The average, he said, is 15 to 18.

“Luckily for us, as far as picking at 28, that wasn’t that difficult because Jerry was one of those 13 for us,” the GM said. “He was our last first-round-graded player and we’re picking 28th, so we were very lucky there. But if he wasn’t there, then your first thought is, ‘Look, now we’re drafting a second-round player in the first round, so I would like to trade back and try and get something before we take a player.’

‘It’s going to be different names up there, but for us this year, it worked out well’

“So our second option would have been a trade out, trade down, whether it was three, four, five spots, whatever it is. Maybe even go farther down, and then pick from there. But don’t forget … it’s not going to be exactly the same for every team. It’s going to be different names up there, but for us this year, it worked out well.”

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