Cincinnati Bengals 2012 Draft: Grading the Selection of DT Devon Still
The Cincinnati Bengals should be delighted to have landed Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still in the second-round. Still represents excellent value for the Bengals defensive scheme at the 53rd overall pick.
Still's draft stock suffered when he missed the senior bowl due to a lingering toe injury. He was overtaken on the defensive tackle boards by the likes of Fletcher Cox.
A natural stiffness, lack of initial burst and inconsistent strength at the point of attack, are the main issues that served to diminish Still's standing.
However, the 6'5" 303 pounder put together an outstanding 2011 campaign and earned Big 10 defensive player of the year honours. When on form he is a relentless and powerful plugger in the middle.
Bengals fans shouldn't expect Still to notch elite sack numbers, despite a decent repertoire of moves and above average hands technique. What he can do for Mike Zimmer's defense is offer a quicker first step and a more active big body at the nose tackle position.
Domata Peko was inconsistent at times during the 2011 season and appeared to particularly struggle against the power running of the Pittsburgh Steelers. In an AFC North featuring Ray Rice and now Trent Richardson, the Bengals must stay stout up front.
Still has the versatility to play 3-technique and also align in a shade technique over the center. His addition upgrades an already strong rotation.
There are questions about consistency and mechanics, but working with Zimmer will improve Still's technique. He could form one of the best young tackle tandems in the league alongside Geno Atkins.
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