Still Driven to Dominate Penn State Dt Is Part of an Intriguingly Deep Group in the 2012 Draft

By Bowen, Les | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), February 29, 2012 | Go to article overview

Still Driven to Dominate Penn State Dt Is Part of an Intriguingly Deep Group in the 2012 Draft


Bowen, Les, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


INDIANAPOLIS -- Nate Stupar wasn't about to disagree with Penn State teammate Devon Still.

An interviewer at the NFL Scouting Combine over the weekend told Stupar, a Nittany Lions linebacker, that the day before, Still had declared he thought he was "hands down, the best defensive tackle in this draft."

Stupar laughed at that, and shook his head.

"The best of the best are here. Devon Still, he's a monster," Stupar said. "I've played behind him, played with him, he's easily one of the best players at defensive tackle I know."

Stupar said Still (6-5, 303) routinely beat double-teams at Penn State.

"When he has a goal in his head, there's nothing that can stop him. ... Third-and-2, we needed a big stop. Devon just jumped the count, ran right past the [blocker] and crushed the running back in the backfield. I was like, 'I'm glad he's on my team.'"

Still, born in Camden, N.J., and raised in Wilmington, Del., is part of an intriguingly deep d-tackle group in the 2012 draft. Analysts generally see LSU's Michael Brockers, who enters the draft with two years of college eligibility remaining, as No. 1. Still, a five-year collegian, whose first two seasons were marred by injury, generally ranks with a group of four tackles just behind Brockers, any of whom could present value at 15th overall. One of the four, Memphis' Dontari Poe, wowed combine watchers by managing 44 reps of the 225-pound bench press and running a 4.98 40 -- all while carrying 346 pounds on a 6-4 frame. Suddenly, comparisons are being made between Poe and Detroit star Ndamukong Suh.

But there is more to playing defensive tackle than combine drills, of course. Still provided the rationale for his claim: "Just because I feel like I want it more. I was able to take over a lot of games this season," he said. "Just the production that I had, I was able to disrupt plays even if I wasn't making tackles or sacks. …

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