It is not very often that a franchise is able to pick up an All-American as a UDFA, but it ended up being the case this offseason for the Las Vegas Raiders.
After the Las Vegas Raiders made their seven selections in the 2021 NFL Draft, they quickly turned their attention to some undrafted rookie free agents. Incredibly, they were able to get a player who was an All-American in the Big-12, adding a talented guy to a position group that has been completely revamped this offseason.
The mystery man here is Darius Stills, the defensive tackle who set the Big-12 ablaze at West Virginia University this past season by being selected as a consensus All-American, Big-12 Defensive Lineman of the Year, and First-team All Big-12.
So the big question is what caused the talented defensive tackle to go unselected in this year’s draft? Some have debated his size, at 6’0 and 278Ibs, by speculating that he is too undersized to play the defensive tackle position at the next level.
Whatever the case, Stills proved he has the talent to thrive at a high level; as the Big-12 is no slouch, and will look to prove the doubters wrong this season in Las Vegas.
The Raiders have completely revamped their defensive line, especially the defensive tackle position. New faces brought in so far have been Quinton Jefferson, Solomon Thomas, and Darius Philon. The defensive tackle room seems to be quite crowded, but with so many new faces now in the fray, if Stills can hang on to the roster he should have a chance to compete for plenty of meaningful snaps.
We got a chance to chat with Stills about some things for the upcoming season – here are a few excerpts below:
JustBlogBaby.com interview with Raiders DT Darius Stills
JustBlogBaby’s Alex Perl: What are you looking forward to the most this season?
Darius Stills: During this season I’m looking to come in and make a significant impact for the team and help the team win a super bowl
AP: How does it feel to be a Raider?
DS: It feels so surreal that I get to live out my dream while playing for such an amazing organization like the Raiders
AP: How does the defensive scheme of the Raiders fit your style?
DS: The scene fits my style of play by allowing me to penetrate upfield and disrupt anything that gets in my way
AP: What have you learned so far as a rookie in the NFL?
DS: What I have learned so far as a rookie is that you must be more of a man here than in college, it’s a job now so you must approach it as such.