Welcome to Finding Broncos, our annual prospect-by-prospect series deep-diving on the coming NFL draft class. The scouting continues with West Virginia interior defensive lineman Darius Stills, a talented prospect, but does he fit with the Broncos?
- Height: 6-foot-1
- Weight: 281 pounds.
- Has plenty of power to hold his own against the run.
- Elite suddenness as a move between the tackles.
- Has a non-stop motor and every phase of the game.
- Explodes off the snap.
- Can get around the shoulders of interior blockers with quickness.
- Has well-developed hands with good hand counters.
- Power in his hands is there.
- His run defense is about slipping by blockers which may not work as often in the NFL as it did in college.
- Has a good football IQ when it comes to his plan of attack as a pass rusher.
- Athleticism is there, but what he relies on to win.
- Lacks discipline when attacking.
- Limited to a penetrating 3-technique role.
- Needs the technique and consistency against the run to be more than an interior pass rusher.
- Needs more consistent use of his power.
- Needs to be more patient as a run defender.
- Can get driven off the line when moving laterally.
- Needs to improve when working on taking double teams.
Stills can offer up good upside for an NFL team that runs the right scheme. They will need to work to develop his play as a run defender before he really gets to that starter potential.
With his ability as an interior pass rusher, he still needs to clean up aspects of his rush. A starting point for the NFL is there, but having him get more disciplined will be a big help. Some teams may see more versatility there than there is, but watching his tape, there doesn’t seem to be much.
Fit with Broncos
This is tough because, from my eyes, he isn’t a scheme fit as he is limited to a 3-tech pass rusher, which would only be a sub-package role for Denver. To get him on the field in those situations, it would mean pulling Shelby Harris or Dre’Mont Jones off the field, and those are a no-go.
Denver could see more in him to be a rotational piece not just for sub-packages but in their base defense as well, but then it becomes a matter of value. Denver has taken a defensive lineman in the third round the last two drafts, so maybe Stills can be the guy for this year, but in this class, there are still some better fits for what Denver does.
Grade: Round 3
Where he goes: Round 3
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