As most of you probably already know, the Colts must find a nose tackle. Fortunately enough for them, the 2012 NFL Draft will feature a pretty deep class of impact defensive line talent. Blue-chippers Michael Brockers and Devon Still were neck in neck for best project DT "honors", but with an impressive Combine showing from Dontari Poe and Fletcher Cox seemingly rising up the board, the field looks to be a lot closer than some originally projected.
The question for the Colts? Who will be left in the second round?
As for Still, he is arguably one of the most polished and NFL-ready linemen prospects in the draft. Despite suffering a torn ACL in 2007 and a broken ankle the following season, Still has proven his durability (started 29 games in the last two years) and cemented his standing as a dominant driving force while at Penn State. Still especially shined in his senior effort, racking up 17 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks. This was good enough for him to snag the Smith-Brown Defensive Linemen of the Year. As a junior, Still wasn't as stout in the backfield, but featured solid production with 10 tackles for a loss and 4 sacks.
A big, powerful physical specimen, Still excels against the run and possesses the ability to quickly read and react to the play. Even when double teamed, he remains resilient and can fight through linemen to find the ball carrier. His big arms and wide body make him a supreme tackler and explain his run effectiveness. Initially features a high motor and uses his hand skills to shed blocks, but has trouble knocking back his opponents. Still's height allows for linemen to get underneath his pads, blowing him back off the ball, as well. If Still struggles with a defender, he looks fatigued and his game noticeably slows down.
Still's skill set is ideal for the 3-4 system. His pash rushing abilities are mediocre, but he does excel when given the first move to bull rush against backpedaling linemen. Uses swim moves to make plays in the passing game, as well. However, he will never be a guy with large sack production. Still's quickness and swift movements in his lower body are an undervalued component of his game. He can contest scramblers on the outside, but his quickness shines when inside.
While his game isn't the most refined, Still's size and power are what he's all about. He will congest the middle and cause havoc against the run game, but does give off a risky vibe due to inconsistent motivation. Does he have the work ethic to consistently improve and work?
Still is not afraid to show his confidence (or maybe cockiness) in his game, either. During his presser at the Combine, Still did not mince his words: "I think hands down I'm the best defensive tackle in this draft, just because I feel like I want it more."
And maybe he's right.
Is really starting to put it all together as a senior. If you can keep him motivated has the talent to mature into a very good starting caliber lineman at a number of positions in the NFL.
Thickly built and well-propotioned with outstanding size and length, Still looks the part and flashes impact, athletic ability, power and disruptive ability. However, has to play with more consistent intensity and snarl to maximize his potential. Has a bust factor.