Name: Darius Stills
School: West Virginia
Position: Defensive Tackle
Measurements: 6-foot-1, 278lbs
Darius Stills attended Fairmont Senior High School, where he tallied 191 tackles and 44 tackles for loss for the Polar Bears, before committing to play for his hometown university, West Virginia.
After appearing just once in his freshman season, Stills played 29 games between his sophomore and senior years for the Mountaineers, earning Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year honours in 2020.
Darius comes from a football family. His brother Dante also plays on the defensive line at West Virginia and his father Gary played there as a linebacker, before a decade-long NFL career with the Chiefs, Ravens and Rams.
The first thing that jumps out from Stills’ tape is that he’s trying to get into the backfield on every play. This makes each snap a boom or bust proposition.
Against the pass, Stills can affect the pocket and pressure the quarterback despite not being overwhelmingly powerful, using his quick first step, adept hand usage and slipperiness. He can shed blockers quickly one on one and can split double teams as well.
Stills lined up all over the defensive line for West Virginia, from over the centre, to out on the edge against a tackle. He showed an ability to win versus either. When out on the edge with a clearer rush lane, Stills was a problem once he gained leverage and he showed decent bend at the top of his rush.
But Stills needs to win early. He doesn’t always play in control or with sound technique from a pad level standpoint, and can get stood up by opposing offensive linemen. Stills plays over his toes and looks like he could topple over at any moment.
Against the run, the flash plays surface again in the form of tackles for loss, but he is often washed out of position as a result of trying to make a play, rather than just staying in his gap. At the next level, his aggression could be taken advantage of.
Stills has a laudable motor. He played on all three downs for the Mountaineers and didn’t take reps off or wear down late in games.
Fit with the Packers:
If the Packers are looking for a plug-and-play, reliable running mate for Kenny Clark, Darius Stills isn’t it at this stage of his career, but his intriguing skillset makes him worth a day three pick as a developmental project.
The Packers have notoriously struggled to stop the run over the past two seasons and Stills has some work to do to be the answer in that regard. He’s not a huge guy and doesn’t represent an upgrade over Tyler Lancaster as a pure “do your job” run-stuffer.
But you can never have too many pass rushers, and Stills’ ability to line up at different spots and get after the quarterback will excite new defensive co-ordinator Joe Barry and get Stills on the field. Unleashing him against a tired offensive line late in a game could be profitable for Green Bay.
Stills won’t start on day one, but he will likely be initially used as a rotational pass rusher to spell the Smith Brothers and Rashan Gary. He could grow into a larger role once the coaching staff have confidence that can be assignment-sure and hold up physically against the run.