Posted Fri Feb 17th by Christopher Hart
Good afternoon once again, Broncos fans. It’s Friday and that means more NFL Draft Talk. Today marks the second installment of Prospect Perspective – with this week’s focus being dedicated to a position where the Broncos seemingly always need talent: defensive tackle.
The player in question: Penn State DT — Devon Still.
After starting his collegiate career with two injury hampered seasons that limited him to one game, Devon Still finished strong with a healthy 38 game streak to complete his tenure with the Nittany Lions. Still’s pressure and play allowed him to amass 55 tackles (17 for loss) and 4.5 sacks in his Senior Campaign which solidified his selection as the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Lineman of the Year. Additionally, Still was a Bednarik and Outland Trophy Finalist.
Still’s incredible play over the last two seasons have made his expectations even bigger, especially if he is to follow his cousins (Art Still and Levon Kirkland) lead in the NFL. Whether or not he lives up to those expectations is a different question. Listed below is a statistical overview of Still’s time at Penn State along with my personal scouting report on his skills and how they will translate into the NFL.
Strengths: Fantastic bloodlines. Ability to take on and play through a double-team. Superb run stuffer and is known for making plays in the backfield – signified by his high percentage of tackles for loss. Uses hands well and is fairly consistent with shedding off blocks. Great size and strength allow for him to overpower smaller blockers. Unparalleled bull rusher. A sound tackler that plays hard and through the last whistle. Good quickness and agility for a man his size. Battle-tested and saw well over 700 snaps each of the past two seasons.
Weaknesses: Marginal explosion off the line of scrimmage and average closing speed, which may impact his ability to rush the passer in the NFL. Significant injury history (listed below), which will raise flags during medical examinations. Dominated lesser competition, but too often loses battles in the trenches to superior offensive lineman who get off the line better. Could improve upon his pass-rushing moves, especially the swim. Inconsistent motor and tends to get worn down late in games – could improve with better conditioning.
Injuries: Torn ACL and MCL (2007 — Redshirt) Broken Ankle (2008)
Round Projection: First-Round
How He Fits in Denver: There is a lot to like about Still who has drawn favorable comparisons to Vikings standout Defensive Lineman Kevin Willliams, but it is one I do not agree with. If Still can improve his consistency, movement off the line and become more seasoned in his pass-rushing moves, the sky is the limit. In my opinion, Still would benefit best in the NFL in a one-gap scheme. Overall, Devon would be a welcomed addition to our defensive line, but I feel we need a player who is more consistent at rushing the passer and see Still struggling in that regarding in the NFL. Still is currently slated to be a first-round pick and is a consensus Top 3 defensive tackle in this class.
Compares To: Marcus Stroud, DT — Jacksonville Jaguars