Raiders

Raiders Will Make Use Of Rookie DL Darius Stills’ Motor

The Las Vegas Raiders were busy adding depth and youth to their defensive line after the NFL Draft concluded. Acquiring West Virginia’s Darius Stills gives the Silver and Black a true ‘Gruden Grinder’ who doesn’t give up.

Las Vegas drafted EDGE rusher Malcolm Koonce in the third round last weekend but no interior lineman was chosen. The organization focused on adding proven veterans to the defensive line this offseason via free agency. The position appeared to no longer be a priority for the Raiders, so they didn’t draft one. Nonetheless, Stills got the call after the player selection meeting ended. Looking at his talent, Las Vegas got themselves a rookie with lots of upside in the process considering the situation he’s coming into.

With Gus Bradley and Rod Marinelli running the defense, Stills will get a shot to prove himself after every team decided to pass on him. At West Virginia, he wreaked havoc in the Big-12 conference, posting noteworthy numbers back in 2019. Stills was sixth in sacks in the Big-12 and third in forced fumbles with two. He was also a Consensus All-America for the 2020 season. By the end of his collegiate career, Still had accumulated 23 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles.

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What are the Raiders getting in Stills?

One of the biggest knocks on Still was his limited size and frame. He’s officially listed at six-foot-one and 285 pounds, which is undersized for an NFL-level defensive tackle. However, watching his film, his effort is evident and doesn’t show any quit in his play. What he lacks in natural size, Stills makes up for in heart though he might have a hard time cracking the lineup this year.

As far as his time in college, Stills played most of his snaps on the inside for West Virginia. He totaled 359 snaps in the B-Gap alone per Pro Football Focus, posting a solid 73.8 grade in the process. With 32 run stops to his name over the last two years, the Raiders could eventually find a role for him plugging the line and stuffing the run. It could be an uphill battle for Stills in training camp but rest assured head coach Jon Gruden loves players who put in the effort and grind, no matter the odds. Stills could end up battling for snaps within a defensive line that might not be quite set in the middle.

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*Top Photo: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

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Gabriel Martin

I’m betting on both Stills and Morrissey!