West Virginia junior Darius Stills sent out a not-so cryptic tweet Saturday, hinting at a pending decision to forgo his final year of college and test the NFL waters.
Based on early NFL Draft prospect/potential prospect rankings, Stills leaving WVU a year early for the NFL draft would qualify as a curious move, at best. Stills doesn’t even appear on most draft board websites. Drafttek.com has Stills listed as the 19th-best defensive lineman and 174th ranked prospect overall. For perspective, the 174th selection in the NFL Draft is a mid-sixth round pick.
Leaving early for the prospect of being taken in the sixth round isn’t ideal but it’s not unprecedented. Last year, linebacker David Long left West Virginia with a year of eligibility remaining. Long was drafted in the sixth round (188th overall) by the Tennessee Titans. Long made the team and is currently on the Titans 53-man roster.
Stills is likely to receive advice from the College Advisory Committee. The committee consists of high-level personnel evaluators from NFL teams and directors from the league’s two sanctioned scouting organizations (National Football Scouting and BLESTO). The committee advises potential early enrollees in the draft as to their likely selection spot if they were to enter the draft early.
Still had a strong junior season, tallying seven sacks and 31 solo tackles. The Fairmont native played alongside his brother, sophomore Dante, on the Mountaineers front line this season. Stills father, Gary Stills, played defensive line for WVU from 1996-98.
Gary Stills was drafted in the third round by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1999 and played 10 years in the NFL with the Chiefs (1999-2005), Baltimore Ravens (2006-07) and St. Louis Rams (2008).
Stills has until January 24, 2020, to declare for the NFL Draft.