Fairmont, West Virginia native Darius Stills became the first consensus All-American at WVU since Dan Mozes earned the honors in 2006.
Stills churned out quite the collegiate career as he registered a total of 85 tackles, 25.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, one interception, three pass deflections, one fumble recovery, and a blocked kick.
Much of Stills’ production came in the last two seasons under defensive coordinator Jordan Lesley who’s scheme allowed him to become a dominant force up front instead of being the nose in a 3-3-5 stack defense.
When it comes to where exactly Stills fits best at the next level, we decided to bring in our go-to draft expert, Zack Patraw of the NFL Draft Bible on Sports Illustrated.
Darius Stills generally plays inside as a three-technique or a one-technique. He appears better working as a 2i with an inside shade on the guard. His quickness off of the snap and his explosive get off are tough for guards to match on the inside. He beats offensive linemen to the punch and can get to the inside shoulder quickly to turn and get the offensive lineman in a chase position. Stills is best as a pass rusher. He uses his hands really well and has a solid counter and rushes with a thought-out plan. He can be used as a pocket mover in the passing game that can penetrate up the middle and cause the quarterback to move off of his spot and get him uncomfortable. This will help outside edge rushers to get pressure on the opposing team’s quarterback.
Darius Stills doesn’t lack strength but he can find himself getting stood up and being outmatched by stronger offensive linemen. His biggest struggles are in the running game when he’s trying to squeeze lanes or take on double teams. He doesn’t have the overall technique or the game-changing strength to get off of blocks consistently and make plays in the trenches. He will be used purely as a pass rusher from the interior at the next level.
Draft Projection Now/Ceiling
Darius Stills projects as an early to mid-day-three prospect. He has plenty of potential as a pass rusher with the developmental ability as a run stopper on the interior that he could find himself landing with a team at the back end of day two. The best-case scenario is that he goes at the end of round four to a team that is looking for a situational pass rusher on the interior of the defensive line.
Stills’ best fit will come in a 4-3 scheme as a 2i-tech that will rush the passer. A team like the Raiders, who struggled to get pressure on the quarterback last year, could use a guy like Stills on their defensive line. Even a team like the Bengals, who don’t run a traditional 4-3 type of defense, could deploy Stills as an inside pass rusher on passing downs.
Stills will find out where he will begin his NFL career in just a little over two months. He has reportedly already met with the New York Jets, Los Angeles Chargers, and Seattle Seahawks. The 2021 NFL Draft will take place from April 29th-May 1st.
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