A former first-round bust was available on waivers, and the Detroit Lions were down the claim priority far enough not to get him.
The Detroit Lions should be on the lookout for opportunities to add talent wherever they are. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Lions were one of eight teams to put in a claim on former-first round pick Jerry Tillery.
The 2-7 Las Vegas Raiders were awarded Tillery. The 28th overall pick in the 2019 draft never got on track with the Los Angeles Chargers, and they waived him last week.
In 54 games (29 starts) for the Chargers, Tillery had 10.5 sacks, 106 total tackles and 12 tackles for loss. In seven games this season, he played 190 snaps with one sack and eight total tackles.
Going further, Pro Football Focus had Tillery as their worst defensive tackle in the league since he entered the league, based on their Wins Above Replacement metric.
The Detroit Lions aren’t missing anything by not getting Jerry Tillery
As much as the Lions could still use some interior defensive line help, and he’s still only 26 years old, Tillery might make things worse if took a noticeable amount of snaps. He hasn’t made an consistent impact as a pass rusher, and he has not been a disruptor against the run game.
Tiller may just need a change of scenery, with Chargers’ head coach Brandon Staley’s comments after waiving him very telling. The Chargers reportedly fielded calls at the trade deadline, but a deal didn’t get done to move Tillery on.
Competing visions for the role moving forward and it just became clear that it wasn’t going to be a fit anymore,” Staley said when asked what changed since the trade deadline. “Where we’re headed as a team wasn’t going to be compatible with Jerry and where he’s trying to go.
Tillery may thrive on a new team, and he wouldn’t be the first guy for that to happen to. But the Lions should feel fortunate they weren’t high enough in the waiver priority to take on a headache another team felt it had to shed.