Associate scout Ray Dahlke breaks down the game of one of the elite defensive tackles and 3-4 defensive end prospects in the class—Penn State’s Devon Still.
Devon Still | DT | Penn State
6’5” 310 lbs
Pass Rush
Still has a very quick first step and gets off the line for a guy his size. Getting off quick enables him to control offensive lineman and throw them around a bit. He doesn’t have a great array of pass rush moves but he has a nice swim move that he uses when he feels the blocker get over-extended. He likes to rely mostly on his bull rush and he uses it effectively. He fires off low and gets into the blocker, keeps his legs beneath him, and collapses the pocket.
He sort of possesses an on and off again motor and isn’t great in pursuit. You won’t see him often chasing ball carriers down or making plays sideline to sideline. However, if there is a play he believes he can make, he’ll kick it in gear and go get it.
For a player his size, Devon Still has some pretty good quickness. His first step is exceptional which allows him to shoot gaps and create havoc as well as get into offensive linemen and get his hands on them before they can get theirs on him. He has average lateral agility and isn’t overly impressive in this area.
Run Defend
This is the best part of Still’s game. He is a strong player who plays with good leverage so it’s very hard to move him and he anchors well. He uses his hands fairly effectively although he could stand to become better in this area. He usually relies on his strength and quickness to make plays in the running game.
He is a strong player and he plays even stronger because he stays low and fires into blockers. He has an overall thick body, especially in his lower half which enables him to sometimes walk back offensive linemen.
Still is a pretty sure tackler and once he gets his hands on you, it’s tough to get away because he’s a strong player.
Devon fires out of his defensive stance low and rarely gets too high allowing the offensive lineman to get under him and he shows good hand placement. If there is one thing he can improve it’s consistently keeping his legs underneath him. He has a tendency to get over extended and shucked down although he has done a much better job of staying on his feet as a senior.
Final Word
Devon Still is a guy who improved a bunch between his junior and senior years. He made Honorable Mention Big 10 as a junior producing 10 tackles for loss and four sacks. So far as a senior he has 15.5 tackles for loss and four sacks through only nine games. He’s transformed himself into arguably the best senior defensive tackle prospect in the 2012 NFL Draft. Due to his physical skills and build, he possesses some nice versatility and could play any number of positions along the line in multiple schemes. You have to hope he can continue to develop his game and not be content with this sudden jump in his game.