2021 Raiders Draft Prospect
Name: Darius Stills
School: West Virginia
Weight: 285 pounds
In modern parlance, Stills goes in his bag. That is to say, he features various moves with the ability to get home. While he stands at 6’1″, the arm over, works well. The quickest of the move freezes the guard, allowing the prospect a free shot. Next, Stills’ bull suits his still. Being the flexible tackle, you will see a lower center of gravity and contact point. As a result, he drives the blocker up and back into the backfield. Yet, what could serve as his best technique could see the aforementioned arm over with a stout pull-push. Many guards can’t refocus and adjust.
The prospect derives outstanding power from his lower body. Generating pop in his hands starts in his feet. Stills grounds himself well before the snap, driving into the ground and springing forward. The kinetic energy stored moves the opponent.
During his career in Morgantown, the standout Mountaineer played on a three-man line. Many snaps found him operated at defensive end. Now, at the next level, he will kick inside, but you could see his explosion towards the ball after the snap. That first-step acceleration was accentuated by active hands. After the shed, Still uses quicker, choppier steps to close.
While this area looks rather passable, therein lies the issue. Despite athletic tools, Stills’ striking power doesn’t readily pop on film. He brings a sturdy wrap and drags to the table. In the NFL, he will need to incorporate a more profound punch of contact style to harness his gifts.
First and foremost, the prospect excels versus the pass. Now, playing the run requires a bit more focus and nuance for him, His DL coach will preach gap integrity and not giving up store, in regards to selling out for the splash plays.
Facing larger guards, in fact, facing quicker ones, Still enjoys the advantage of beating his man from the snap. That head start places the blocker at a disadvantage that could result in a big play. Meanwhile, West Virginia used this gift to send the prospect on stunts to harass the pocket.
From the game film, you pick up that the prospect sets his moves up well, adjusting and tinkering along the way. With such an array of moves, Stills’ value increased during his college career. While he’s not the biggest, strongest, or fastest, the attention to his rush craft sets him apart.
Earlier this week, Jon Gruden mentioned his preference to stay with a four-man front. If you look at who the Raiders employ in the middle of the line, no real twitchy athletes exist. Stills settles in nicely into the three-technique. For what feels like an eternity, the team lacked any consistent interior push. Quarterbacks stood tall in the pocket while climbing the ladder without fear of the rush. Stills knifes through the B gap, altering the immediate plans of the offense. Plus, he wins on stunts. If the Raiders want to change their pass rush, a low-cost, yet talented athlete like Darius Stills. Paring him next to Johnathan Hankins should pay dividends.
Points: 20/28 (Based on a 1-4 point scale)