Devon Still has been drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals with the 21st pick in the second round (53rd overall) of the NFL Draft!
Congratulations to Devon and his family, and to the Bengals for picking up a supremely talented, consensus first-team All-American defensive tackle. After his Great Leap Forward in the 2011 Outback Bowl against Florida's talented offensive line, Still marauded through the competition last season. A turf toe injury slowed him in the last few games of the season (including the TicketCity Bowl against Houston). Possibly, that is what helped cause his drop through the first round. Rest assured, Bengals fans. You're getting first round quality at a second round price.
Here are some of our past posts on Still.
Devon Still, 4-3 DT/3-4 DE
Height/Weight: 6'5, 303 pounds
Senior Statistics: 55 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 17 TFL, 1 FF, 1 pass break up
Honors: Consensus First-Team All-American (AP, Sporting News, Walter Camp, FWAA, ESPN.com, CBSSports.com, SI.com, FoxSportsNext.com/Scout.com, Pro Football Weekly, Yahoo! Sports), 2011 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, 2011 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year, Outland Trophy finalist, Bednarik Award finalist, Nagurski Trophy finalist.
The best word to describe Still is disruptive. He's not a space eater-type and will not play nose tackle at the next level. He has a very quick first step, uses his hands well, and gets into the backfield effectively. He's versatile - he can play DT in a 4-3 scheme or as a DE in the 3-4 scheme. Still's worst trait is apparently that he used to play too tall and, consequently, without much leverage. That problem has been fixed, but it still rears its ugly head when he becomes fatigued. Additionally, he will need to add to his arsenal of pass rushing moves to stay relevant as a 3-technique tackle. However, listening to Still's competitive nature, that doesn't sound like it will be much of a problem:
"What drives me is that when I first started playing football, whenever I do something, I'm very competitive," he said. "I want to be the best at it. When I got injured my first two years at Penn State, a lot of people said I wouldn't be the same player as I was when I showed up on campus. I think that drove me just to prove everybody wrong. To this day, I don't think I'm where I need to be right now. I want to make my mark in the NFL, just as I did at Penn State, and become one of the best."
"Still becomes the fifth Nittany Lion to be selected the Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year, which honors former Penn State All-American Courtney Brown and former Michigan State standout Bubba Smith. Penn State's Brown (1999), Jimmy Kennedy (2002), Tamba Hali (2005) and Jared Odrick (2009) also were selected the Big Ten's premier defensive lineman. Still and Odrick are the only defensive tackles to be named Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year since 1994."