Defensive line was a strength for the New Orleans Saints last year, and they’re looking to make sure it stays that way next season. The team is bringing in Notre Dame defensive tackle Jerry Tillery for a visit today, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.
Interestingly, Pelissero writes that Tillery’s upcoming visits are “chances to reiterate how important football is to him.”
Tillery has been the subject of a couple of off-field incidents while at Notre Dame, and there are apparently questions about his motivation and commitment to the game that need to be answered.
Pelissero also notes that Tillery recently had shoulder surgery after the combine, but “remains on track for training camp.” Tillery started his career as an offensive lineman, but switched to defense as a freshman with the Fighting Irish. This past year, he had 8.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein is high on his potential, but thinks he’s a raw prospect who still needs plenty of development.
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,” Zierlein writes.
The Saints don’t have a first round pick because of the trade up for Marcus Davenport that they made last year. As such, they might not have the chance to draft Tillery when they first pick at 62nd overall.
Tillery is currently projected by most analysts to go anywhere from the late first to the mid-second round, so if they want him they might need to execute another trade up.