Kenny Stills is a prospect to keep an eye on heading into the NFL draft
Kenny Stills is an intriguing wide receiver prospect heading into the 2013 NFL draft. After three productive seasons with the Oklahoma Sooners, Stills chose to skip his senior year and test his skills in the professional ranks.
Through the course of his three years in Norman, Stills has experienced several highs and lows.
While a checkered past off the field is cause for concern when evaluating this young receiver, teams realize young men make mistakes. Stills has responded well to adversity and will be looking to make an immediate impact on the gridiron in 2013.
The jury is still out on whether or not Stills can thrive in the NFL. He is an interesting prospect for that very reason. Here is a look at five things you need to know about Kenny Stills as we approach draft day on April 25.
Date of Birth: April 22, 1992
Hometown: Encinitas, Calif.
High School: La Costa Canyon HS
Stills grew up in the San Diego area where he attended La Costa Canyon High School. His father, Kenny, played six seasons in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings as a safety. Further enhancing the family pedigree, Stills' uncle, Gary, played linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens and St. Louis Rams.
As a junior at La Costa Canyon High School, he impressively recorded 1,274 receiving yards along with 16 touchdowns. According to Scout.com, Stills was the nation's ninth-ranked wide receiver and 47th-best player overall coming out of high school.
Stills was productive in each of his three seasons in Norman
2010: 14 games, 61 catches, 786 yards, 5 TDs, 56.1 YPG
2011: 11 games, 61 catches, 849 yards, 8 TDs, 77.2 YPG
2012: 13 games, 82 catches, 959 yards, 11 TDs, 73.8 YPG
Stills was an impact player instantly for Oklahoma. Playing in the shadow of Ryan Broyles, Stills developed a reputation as a consistent performer in 2010, catching at least one pass in each game during the season. In a Fiesta Bowl tilt against Connecticut, Stills had eight catches for 73 yards.
Despite missing two games due to suspension and injury, Stills was able to thrive in Oklahoma's pass-heavy offense as a sophomore. The game-winning touchdown Stills recorded at Florida State early in the season was the highlight of a stellar overall night. In that tilt, he caught seven passes for 125 yards and a touchdown. Stills continued his streak of catching at least one pass in every game during the 2011 season.
After Broyles' departure from Norman, Stills took on the role as Oklahoma's No. 1 receiver. He answered the bell by leading the team in receptions, yards and touchdowns. Once again Stills proved a reliable target by finishing his career with a reception in all of his contests. In a mid-November conference matchup in Morgantown, W. Va., Stills had four touchdowns en route to a 50-49 victory.
Stills answered plenty of questions about his past during the combine
Weight: 194 lbs.
Arm Length: 30 1/2''
40-yard dash: 4.38 seconds
Bench press: 16 reps
Vertical jump: 33.5 inches
Broad jump: 124.0 inches
20-yard shuttle: 4.35 seconds
Stills was a limited participant during Oklahoma's pro day, catching passes from quarterback Landry Jones. His 40-yard dash in Indianapolis was impressively the fourth fastest among wide receivers. Despite the perception of his speed being average, Stills certainly helped his stock by wowing scouts with a 4.38-second 40.
This prospect will infuse energy into any NFL team
Stills ran into some off-field troubles, which have followed him throughout the draft process. He served a one-game suspension in 2011 after being arrested for driving under the influence.
Naturally, teams have had no shortage of questions for Stills regarding his mishaps in college.
ESPN's Brandon Chatmon spent time with Stills leading up to the draft. With an emphasis on Stills' ability to beat press coverage, he told Chatmon that in preparation for the NFL, he has begun MMA training.
Stills is projected as a third- to fifth-round pick
There are mixed reviews regarding Stills' draft stock heading into April 25. This is a dynamic player with a unique personality. It is likely that he will be a fan favorite of the team that selects him while being despised by the rest of the league, a testament to his ability to get under players' skin.
CBS.com ranks Stills as the 16th-best wide receiver in the 2013 draft class. He is lauded for his versatility and body control and projects as a fourth-rounder.
Bleacher Report's Sigmund Bloom believes Stills could be drafted late in Day 2 or early in Day 3. Ranging anywhere between the third and fifth rounds, Bloom believes Stills fits with the New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Oakland Raiders, Detroit Lions or Dallas Cowboys.