New England Patriots: 7-Round 2019 NFL mock draft in early April

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images /
2 of 10
Jerry Tillery
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images /

The New England Patriots elected to let both Malcom Brown and Danny Shelton walk in free agency this off season, leaving obvious holes at the defensive tackle position. Their current defensive tackle trio of Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler and Mike Pennel is adequate, but there is clearly some room for improvement at the position.

More from New England Patriots

The Pats do not need to reach for a defensive tackle in the first round, but should be willing to pounce if a talented player at the position slips to 32. In this mock draft, Notre Dame defensive tackle Jerry Tillery falls a bit, landing directly into the laps of Belichick and company.

Tillery is a big and powerful player who has great quickness and athleticism for a player of his size. He is explosive off of the ball and shows impressive overall quickness and lateral agility after the snap. He also has impressive length that he uses well to keep blockers away from his body.

Tillery has impressive upside as an interior pass rusher, showing a wide range of pass rush moves and counters. He can win with burst and athleticism on the inside and also shows the ability to convert from speed to power and overwhelm an offensive lineman on a bull rush. Tillery is also an instinctive run defender who uses his impressive combination of length, quickness and power to shut down opposing rushing attacks.

Simply put, Tillery is an impressive defensive tackle prospect who has big-time upside at the next level. He could come in and provide immediate versatility for the Pats, competing as a 3-tech and as an end in odd fronts as he grows into a significant playmaker down the line.