Notre Dame’s Jerry Tillery: ‘I think I’ve shown that I can really play all over a defensive line’

He has the size: 6-foot-6 and 295 pounds. He has the strength: 23 reps in the 225-pound bench press. He has the speed: 4.93-second clocking in the 40-yard dash.

Notre Dame defensive tackle Jerry Tillery has something else: versatility. Since switching from offensive tackle to defensive line as a freshman, he has shown he can excel at a variety of D-line spots.

‘I moved out to three technique and my production really increased’

“My freshman year at Notre, Dame I played nose guard and I led our team in sacks and TFLs from that position,” Tillery told Bob Papa and Charlie Weis on The Opening Drive. “And later in my career, I moved out to three-technique while at Notre Dame and my production really increased there. And then, in some of our third-down stuff, I was rushing from the end position, out wide.

“These are all good things to have as a defensive lineman.”

“So I think I’ve shown that I can really play all over a defensive line. And I think those are valuable skills to have in this draft.”

‘I can rush the passer; it’s a passing league’

Tillery considers his size, athleticism and soundness when it comes to techniques as being his best qualities.

“These are all good things to have as a defensive lineman,” he said. “I can rush the passer; it’s a passing league. I’m strong against the run.”

‘The recovery’s coming really well’

More than a month ago, he underwent shoulder surgery, so NFL teams will keep an eye on that. Tillery has no doubts about his ability to return to full speed by the time training camps open around the league.

“I’m good,” he said. “The recovery’s coming really well … the recovery’s like four months or so back to full contact. And that’s plenty of time for training camp, so I feel really good about where I am. There’s been quite a few (teams) that have come to Notre Dame so far, and I’ve met with a bunch here. I’ve got several visits planned.”

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