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NFL Draft Profile: Dante Stills, Defensive Lineman, West Virginia Mountaineers

NFL Draft profile scouting report for West Virginia iDL Dante Stills
West Virginia iDL Dante Stills
west virginia

#55
Pos: iDL
Ht: 6030
Wt: 280
Hand: 948
Arm: 3200
Wing: 7728
40: 4.95
DOB: 12/14/1999
Hometown: Fairmont, WV
High School: Fairmont Senior
Eligibility: 2023

Dante Stills
West Virginia Mountaineers


One Liner:

Stills is a highly productive penetration-style defensive lineman who wins with a hot motor and some go-to pass rush moves and counters, but he lacks the desired physical requirements NFL teams look for in early-round selections.

Evaluation:

Stills shifts along the entire defensive line, playing everywhere from 5-tech to occasionally 1-tech. Most of his snaps over the past three years have come either as a 4-tech (lined up even with the tackle) or working in the B-gap. He displays burst on stunts and games up front. Stills has an excellent first step when he times the snap well, but there are instances of him getting off the line late. The fifth-year senior displays exciting closing speed when the ball is in his sights, but he slows down on extended plays. Stills has several pass rush moves and counters in his toolbox. He’ll grab and pull down linemen to open either interior or outside rush lanes and has an effective rip counter. Stills’ hands are very active, and he uses a variety of swipes and arm-over moves to create clear rush lanes. He spins back into the pocket when his rush carries him too far upfield. Unfortunately, Stills’ spins and hand swipes sometimes seem poorly planned and don’t lead to an advantage. He displays some bend around the edge but not at a high enough level to consistently threaten as a true edge defender. Stills’ active hands lack pop, and his short arms give offensive linemen natural advantages. The West Virginia native shows patience in some pass rush reps, but sometimes he’s too patient and fails to impact the play. As a run defender, Stills gets skinny and shoots gaps. This penetration style leads to big tackles for loss and creates opportunities for other defenders to make plays. Stills compresses the line on inside runs and flows down the line to the ball with urgency. He lacks the mass to hold the point of attack against the run consistently. Stills gets sealed by tackles and displaced on power run plays. He plays with an inconsistent pad level. Stills’ playing weight will limit his potential roles in the NFL.

Grade:

6th Round

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Background:

Stills was a four-star recruit from Fairmont Senior High School in Fairmont, W.Va. in the class of 2018. He was the No. 124 recruit according to the 247Sports Composite board, No. 116 for Rivals, and No. 120 for On3.com. ESPN ranked him 187th in the nation with an 82 grade out of 100. ESPN, Rivals, and 247Sports listed Stills as the top recruit in West Virginia. As a high school senior, he amassed 81 tackles, 31.5 tackles for loss, and 11 sacks. Stills produced 75 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks as a junior. He led his high school to back-to-back state runner-up finishes in his junior and senior seasons. Stills was selected as an Under Armour All-American in 2017. According to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, he runs a 4.42 20-yard shuttle, which would’ve finished second among interior defensive linemen at the 2022 NFL Combine. For reference, Thomas Booker led all interior defensive linemen with a 4.41 20-yard shuttle. Stills was a 2018 Freshman All-American for ESPN and The Athletic. He received Second-Team All-Big 12 honors in 2019, Honorable Mention All-Big 12 honors in 2020, and was a First-Team All-Big 12 selection in 2021. Stills is one of three children. His brother (Darius) was a Consensus All-American, the Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year, and a First-Team All-Big 12 selection in 2020. Stills’ father (Gary) was an All-Big East linebacker at West Virginia for Hall of Fame coach Don Nehlen. He was a third round pick in the 1999 NFL Draft and spent ten years in the NFL, playing for the Chiefs, Rams, and Ravens. Gary Stills made the Pro Bowl in 2003.