More Productive Chargers Pass Rusher In 2022: Morgan Fox or Jerry Tillery?
The Chargers have taken the “All-In” phrase head-on and have turned over a good amount of their roster, particularly on defense. That continued today when they signed former Panthers and Rams defensive lineman Morgan Fox. He should plug the last remaining hole along the defensive line which was that of a pass-rushing presence alongside former first-round pick Jerry Tillery (theoretically).
Fox is arguably one of the bigger Brandon Staley success stories in his short career. He was an undrafted free agent out of small Division-II Colorado State-Pueblo and was basically at the end of the rotation before Staley got there. Then in 2020, Fox broke out with 33 total pressures, 7 sacks, and 4 additional quarterback hits – per PFF. His versatility as an interior pass rusher earned him a nice payday with the Panthers last offseason, but they cut him as they tried to free up cap space to go after a quarterback.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is Tillery, who is arguably the biggest first-round miss of Tom Telesco’s tenure. Tillery took a nice step forward in 2020 and showed some nice flashes, but really struggled against the run and had some very inopportune penalties. Still, the flashes and hiring of Staley led me and others to believe that Tillery was a breakout candidate in 2021. That did not come to pass, and now he’s going to have to fight for snaps in 2022 with a pass-rushing counterpart that is arguably more productive than him.
Over the last two seasons here’s how the two have stacked up:
- Tillery on 952 pass-rush snaps: 66 total pressures, 8 sacks, 20 additional quarterback hits.
- Fox on 638 pass-rush snaps: 59 total pressures, 10 sacks, 7 additional quarterback hits.
So the question is, if both end up having a large role on this team, who would you pick to be the more productive pass rusher?