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Kenny Stills Scouting Report: NFL Outlook for Oklahoma WR

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Kenny Stills Scouting Report: NFL Outlook for Oklahoma WR
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Kenny Stills

New Orleans Saints

Fifth Round: 144th Pick

Since he showed up on campus in Norman in 2010, Kenny Stills was a starter and an impact player in Oklahoma's high-powered passing offense. When Ryan Broyles left for the pros last year, Stills had a chance to be the No. 1 receiver, and coming off of an 11-touchdown season, he decided to leap to the pros as a junior.

Is he more like Broyles or recent Oklahoma wide receiver draft busts like Juaquin Iglesias, Malcolm Kelly and Travis Wilson?

 

Strengths

Even though he's not a big or strong receiver, Stills is outstanding at coming down with 50/50 balls and making the play in tight quarters in the end zone. He has a good burst off of the line and legitimate deep-separation speed. Stills is at his best adjusting to the ball in flight, especially on back-shoulder throws. His body control allows him to stay inbounds near the sideline and get better position while banging with defensive backs in the air. 

 

Weaknesses

Matt Miller Breaks Down Kenny Stills

Stills is not going to dominate physical matchups and will never be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL. He is not elusive or creative after the catch. Stills is not a refined route-runner, although he shows the change of speeds and sudden breaks to become one. He won't break many tackles or contribute much as a blocker and will have to get stronger in general to hang in the NFL. Stills occasionally drops easy catches.

 

Tools

The 4.38 40-yard dash time that Stills posted at the combine is a good indicator of his straight-line speed, although he is not faster on film than a lot of prospects who ran in the 4.4s. At 6'0", 194 pounds, with 30 1/2" arms, Stills isn't going to do as well against bigger, longer, stronger corners in the NFL. His explosion (33.5" vertical) and quickness (4.35 short shuttle) are just average. 

 

Intangibles/Character

Stills comes from an NFL family, with a father, Ken, and uncle, Gary, who both played in the NFL. He was arrested for a DUI in January of 2011 and suspended for one game during the following season. He seems contrite and has taken the issue head-on during the pre-draft process. Stills says he has settled down a lot since the incident.

 

System

Oklahoma's spread offense put Stills on the outside, running a lot of vertical routes for a quick-strike offense.

 

Release

Stills has a good first step and burst off of the line, and he has been quick enough to beat the jam and create a path to get into his route quickly. 

 

Routes

Oklahoma's offense didn't ask Stills to run crisp routes as much as he ran to a spot or general area of the field. He does demonstrate a great throttle down to take advantage of the cushion that his speed affords him due to respect from his opponent. Stills is good at changing speeds and using a double move to create separation, and he can usually find and sit down in the openings of a zone defense. His change of directions in routes is sudden when he does make a quick break, and Stills will battle with his opponent to stay on course in a route.

 

Hands

The back shoulder throw is one of Stills' best plays

Stills is mostly a reliable hands catcher. He does body catch and drop easy ones at times and will need to avoid concentration lapses at the next level. Stills has excellent hands in the air, and he'll make the catch when he knows he'll have to take a hit to do it. He is strong on balls that he has to compete for, but his hands will go cold on routine plays.

 

Ball Skills

Few receivers in this class are more impressive adjusting to jump balls and back-shoulder throws, which is even more notable for a 6'0" receiver. Stills will generally come back to the ball, but he occasionally fades away and gives up position in the air. He can make catches in tight coverage and while being knocked around. Stills is also natural with his leap timing and high-pointing of the ball.

 

Run After Catch

It is not common, but Stills will shrug off a tackler or get some yards after contact, but he is not really a dangerous receiver after the catch. His speed is a threat on balls he catches in stride, but Stills is not a creative, elusive or strong runner after the catch.

 

Blocking

Stills can break tackles after the catch, but it is a rare sight.

Stills will stay with his blocks and even get some push at times, but he doesn't seem to relish clashes with opponents. He is fast and heady enough to be an escort down the field for teammates that get free behind the defense.

 

Scheme Versatility/Future Role

Stills' frame and relative lack of functional strength may move him inside to the slot in the pros. He can be a vertical outside threat and a surprisingly good red-zone receiver.

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