How to identify the next breakout NFL superstar

How to identify the next breakout NFL superstar

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

NFL draft profile scouting report for West Virginia defensive lineman, Dante Stills
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#55
Pos: DL
Ht: 6040
Wt: 280
DOB: 12/14/99
Eligible: 2022
Fairmont, WV
Fairmont Senior High School

Dante Stills
West Virginia Mountaineers


Pros:

Pun: Dante Stills displays all the positive qualities that his brother, Darius, showed at WVU and more. Stills plays with a natural level of competitiveness and hates to be blocked. In the run game, it all starts with Stills’ explosive get off which paired with his low pad level and inside hand placement allows him to win the POA and penetrate vs base blocks. He’s very slippery in the trenches, using swipe and arm-over moves to disengage from 1on1 blocks and shoot gaps. Furthermore, on combo blocks Stills is able to disengage when the scooper gets into his chest/hip by using a quick spin move. That athleticism is seen in the pass game as well, where Stills has teach-tape on a speed to power bull rush - getting low, well-timed and placed hands to the breastplate, and driving his legs to collapse the pocket. He also shows flashes of a push-pull move, displaying elite grip strength to pull cloth and tug offensive linemen wherever he wants them to go. Furthermore, Stills has solid bend for a DT and is often forced to attack the outside shoulder of tackles when playing 4i or 6-tech in 3 man fronts. Alignment versatility is a huge plus in his game, aligning at 1-tech, 2i, 3-tech and 4i for large portions of each game.

Cons:

Pun: While Stills boasts plenty of potential, there are technical aspects of his game he should look to improve. Firstly, when defending zone runs his pad level pops up as he tries to move laterally and he struggles to gain inside hand placement, causing Stills to get washed down the line and lose the POA battle. When rushing the passer, Stills struggles to tie his hands to his feet on a consistent basis which leads to ineffective pass rush moves. Furthermore, those attempted moves are few and far between as he often lacks a rush plan or counter moves. In addition, while Stills is able to collapse the pocket with his bull rush, he must improve on disengaging from his rush to finish sacks. Lastly, something that will likely always limit his potential is his short arms. Offensive linemen with average-to-long arms and ones that can match Stills quickness off the snap are able to neutralize his efforts, getting into his chest and holding the POA.

Summary:

Pun: Explosive DL with ability to play up and down the line and is adept at shooting gaps in a penetrating scheme due to get off, pad level and quick, well-placed hands. Can collapse the pocket with a bull rush and has flashes of a push-pull to generate pressure but needs to link his hands to feet better, rush with a plan and have counters if he wants to be an elite DT. Returning for his senior season could be huge for Stills as he refines his technique to turn his chaotic-wrecking-ball-like style into controlled and calculated production.

Background:

Dante Stills was born in Fairmont, West Virginia to Gary Stills and Janeen Floyd. His father Gary was an All-Big East standout linebacker at WVU and his brother Darius is a former All-Big 12 Conference defensive lineman for WVU and current UDFA for the Las Vegas Raiders. Stills played high school ball at Fairmont Senior High School and was named defensive captain and a first-team selection of the 2017 West Virginia AA All-State team. As a senior, Stills played defensive tackle and collected 81 tackles, 31.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks. After high school, 247Sports ranked him as a 4-Star recruit, the 124th-best recruit nationally, the 7th-ranked defensive end recruit in the country and the 1st recruit in the state of West Virginia. During his 2018 Freshman season, Stills registered 16 tackles for the year, including 13 solo stops, three sacks, six tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. He was also named The Athletic Freshman All-American and an ESPN.com Freshman All-American. Dante Stills and brother Darius were known for their skilled playing throughout the year. In 2019, Texas Longhorn’s coach said of the brothers, “Really quick, explosive, powerful. They do a good job in their scheme moving those guys around. We think they’re pretty dang good.” In his 2019 Sophomore year, Stills played in 12 games at defensive end and started three of them, finishng the season with 24 tackles, including 14 solo stops, a forced fumble and a pass breakup. In 2020, Stills played in 10 games, tallying 35 tackles, 10.5 TFLs, 2 sacks, 2 PBUs and 1 fumble recovery. His coming 2021 senior year, Stills will be playing for the first time without older brother Darius. Stills is embracing being a team leader and says he hopes to continue working on himself in his 2021 season. He was quoted saying, “You've got to lead yourself before you can lead others, so I have to make sure I'm doing the right things on the field – doing techniques right and making sure the guys behind me are copying that so they are able to perform." Stills is excited for the upcoming season and said, “I’m thankful for the opportunity to be in the role of leader. Growing up, Darius has always been like the leader first because he’s older. For me to now be in that role is teaching me how to lead people. Seeing him lead us taught me things. I love it. Our D-line is ready to work and ready to play”. His coach, Neil Brown believes it’s possible for Stills to become the best defensive lineman in the country. He said on Stills, “I think Dante has got a chance to really have a breakout senior season”. Regardless, Still’s senior season will definitely be one to watch.


One-Liners

Pun: Explosive DL with ability to play up and down the line and is adept at shooting gaps in a penetrating scheme plus can collapse the pocket with a bull rush but needs to rush with a plan better, display more counter moves and link his hands to his feet more often.

Grades

Current Player Value/Potential Player Value

Pun: 7.6 / 8.5


#55
Pos: DL
Ht: 6040
Wt: 280
DOB: 12/14/99
Eligible: 2022
Fairmont, WV
Fairmont Senior High School

Dante Stills
West Virginia Mountaineers


Pros:

Pun: Dante Stills displays all the positive qualities that his brother, Darius, showed at WVU and more. Stills plays with a natural level of competitiveness and hates to be blocked. In the run game, it all starts with Stills’ explosive get off which paired with his low pad level and inside hand placement allows him to win the POA and penetrate vs base blocks. He’s very slippery in the trenches, using swipe and arm-over moves to disengage from 1on1 blocks and shoot gaps. Furthermore, on combo blocks Stills is able to disengage when the scooper gets into his chest/hip by using a quick spin move. That athleticism is seen in the pass game as well, where Stills has teach-tape on a speed to power bull rush - getting low, well-timed and placed hands to the breastplate, and driving his legs to collapse the pocket. He also shows flashes of a push-pull move, displaying elite grip strength to pull cloth and tug offensive linemen wherever he wants them to go. Furthermore, Stills has solid bend for a DT and is often forced to attack the outside shoulder of tackles when playing 4i or 6-tech in 3 man fronts. Alignment versatility is a huge plus in his game, aligning at 1-tech, 2i, 3-tech and 4i for large portions of each game.

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