Darius Stills Signs Free Agent Deal; ‘No Way All These DTs Better Than Me’

West Virginia defensive lineman Darius Stills works through bags during Pro Day

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — As the seventh and final round of the National Football League torture chamber that the league calls its draft began, West Virginia’s All-American defensive tackle Darius Stills had had enough sitting around watching and waiting, something he’d done for three days.

And so, he took to Twitter.

“Ain’t No Way All These DTs Better Then Me,” he tweeted, adding an emoji with its head tilted laughing.

He was right, you know.

There was no way that many defensive tackles in the country were better than him. No way half of them were. He was a consensus All-American. He was the defensive lineman of the year in the Big 12. He was a big-time player in a Power 5 conference in the middle of the defensive line that anchored the fourth best defense in the country. And he was passed over for 259 picks.


The Las Vegas Raiders, at least, recognized that he was worth a free agent deal, and quickly locked him up when the draft was completed.

Still, it was puzzling. Most NFL teams game him nothing but positive feedback in their dealings with him.

True, they him know he wasn’t built like the prototype defensive tackle in the NFL. On their website, NFL.com they listed — if one may make a pun here — his shortcomings.

Undersized as interior defender.

Works with stubby arms and small hands.

Undisciplined approach leaves gaping holes at times.

Too content to backdoor the block rather than fight past reach attempt.

Will run wild through the gap, wrecking his defense’s fits.

Angle blocks can knock him off his base.

Needs to be able to carry more quality mass.

Doesn’t have length necessary to control the point of attack.

It’s a wonder with those “stubby arms” and “small hands” that he can shave or brush his teeth in the morning, let alone toss arounds 320-pound offensive linemen and 240-pound fullbacks.

See, here’s the deal about sports today.

No one has the guts to stand up and take a chance. There’s so much money involved that coaches, executives and even media types simply turn to a computer to tell them what’s right … a computer that can tell you how much you have in your bank account, how much your car has in its tank but not what you have in your heart and in your head

Why have analytics taken over the sports world?

Because if a coach calls a play and it doesn’t work, he can blame his analyst and show that on third and 8 in the third quarter of games it is leading in by from three to seven points, running a draw play has X amount of risk and X amount of reward.

So, he calls it.

“Not my fault!” he says when it doesn’t work “Argue with Ned Nerd, our computer guy.”

It permeates every sport. Baseball takes out good pitchers and brings in bad ones because they have thrown so many pitches, trying a win a game a week from now when they have to win the game today.

They shift and give up a bunt hit … but baseball doesn’t want base runners. It wants base joggers, the computer saying you can’t be put out on the bases if you hit the ball over the fence.

Football’s no different. You have to run a 4.3 to do this and be able to do so many reps with 225 pounds to do that, and they actually judge you on that when they know no one ever blocked anyone in the weight room.

The fun has been taken out of all sports in this quest for mathematical perfection that doesn’t really exist.

And, so because of it, a kid like Darius Stills spends three days chasing a carrot on a stick, unable to reach it because his arms are too short, his hands too small, his balance not good … yet there’s so much film out there to dispute everything they come up with that you can’t believe it.

Computers don’t make athletes, God does.

Put Tom Brady in a computer and you come up with a sixth-round pick who can’t play. Marc Bulger came from the same computer.

I suspect if they had given Pat White a fair chance rather than pigeon holing him as a “wildcat” quarterback he might have become as exciting a player as Lamar Jackson now is.

Can’t imagine, really, how excruciating it was for Darius Stills to sit there in his living room through these three days and wonder how many others joined him, not having played themselves out of the draft but having been eliminated because their arms were too stubby and their hands too small.

Home Page forums Darius Stills Signs Free Agent Deal; ‘No Way All These DTs Better Than Me’

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    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — As the seventh and final round of the National Football League torture chamber that the league calls its draft began, West Virgini
    [See the full post at: Darius Stills Signs Free Agent Deal; ‘No Way All These DTs Better Than Me’]


    Sorry Kevin but this is the first article you’ve written I heavily disagree with.   Analytics are taking over the sports world because,  as a whole, it works.  And coaches at that level are stubborn and arrogant,  they aren’t using Analytics out of fear.

    We make the argument here that recruiting more four and five star recruits, in general,  will work out better than all two star recruits, despite the Pat White anomalies.  And that’s true.  You can’t turn around and argue that the nfl should give guys a shot that didn’t grade as well.   Yes, you’ve named some of the exceptions,  but in general the highest graded players do better.

    Finally,  the draft grades aren’t purely Analytics based.   There are scouting reports on Stills that are based on more than that, including film,, they also didn’t grade him super high.

    I hope he’s the exception.


    Analytics work. There are anomalies and that’s why you take a chance on those Brady, Bulger types in the late rounds or give them a chance in the FA market. If the chip on his shouler proves him right he’ll make a nice living in the NFL. If the Analytics are right then ?????


    What happened with Marvin Wilson, DT FSU? He graded out at 70. And was #8 DT on the ESPiN list.

    Darius #19 grade 32.


    According to analytics WVU shouldn’t have even played the Sugar, Fiesta and Orange bowls. For that matter why even play collegiate sports at all. Just send the oddsmakers, NCAA and talking heads to the schools with a tape measure and a stop watch and let them determine who win the contest. I  Despise analytics.


    That was Bob Hertzel’s column.


    Sorry Kevin, I swear I saw your name on the article itself.

    I don’t think anything you said was correct, Bolting, except the opinion at the end I guess.


    Darius is absolutely right.  There’s just no way all those DT’s are better than him.  It’s just unbelievable.  But it is what it is and Darius signed with a good team.  I predict he will do well there and will be a starter before the season ends.  Congratulations to Darius.  All your WVU fans who love you and know how awesome you are will be watching and cheering you on!




    Agree with Bolting, that is.


    Darius with all the awards from the B12 and AA status didn’t get drafted????? BLASPHEMY I say, blasphemy……

    On the other hand, all the accolades mean nothing to the NFL.  Just ask Dan Mozes.   Being a great NCAA D1 P5 player doesn’t always equate to the NFL.


    The NFL drafts too much based on measurements and solo drills. Maybe that is why 50% of the current NFL players were not drafted … source Cowherd.


    Cowherd has his numbers wrong  …..  but that’s normal for him.  Less than 500 total in the league.  Average 12-15 per team.  Easy to google it.


    Brady was selected 199th overall by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft.

    2005, Round 7, 250th overall – Ryan Fitzpatrick QB didn’t hit his stride until his fourth season in the NFL when he started 12 games for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2008.

    There have been several players over the years that have been drafted in the last rounds that have been successful in the NFL.

    You can’t put analytics on heart, soul, determination and hard work ethic of a player with a want to attitude.



    Top 30 undrafted NFL players in History

    30. Wes Walker WR

    29. Marion Motley RB

    28. Drew Pearson WR

    27. Chris Harris CB

    26. Brian Waters OG

    25. Dave Grayson DB

    24. Larry Little OL

    23. Nate Newton OL

    22. Jason Peters OT

    21. Adam Vinatieri K

    20. Priest Holmes RB

    19. Coy Bacon DL

    18. Donnie Shell DB

    17. James Harrison OLB

    16. Rod Smith WR

    15. Joe Jacoby OT

    14. Antonio Gates TE

    13. Tony Romo QB

    12. John Randle DT

    11. Emmitt Thomas CB

    10. Cornell Green DB

    09. Cliff Harris S

    08. Lou “the toe” Groza OT/K

    07. Joe Perry RB

    06. Willie Wood VB

    05. Willie Brown

    04. Warren Moon QB

    03. Emlen Tunnell

    02. Dick “night train” Lane DB

    01. Kurt Warner QB



    VS how many UDFA’s thru those years?

    Diamonds in the ruff, yes.  But you don’t base your draft on picking kids that are rated low in higher rounds.  Analytics overall count.  Finding diamonds are rare.


    Naming the exceptions is not useful or meaningful.  Any good analysis of the data already includes that.

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Home Page forums Darius Stills Signs Free Agent Deal; ‘No Way All These DTs Better Than Me’

Home Page forums Darius Stills Signs Free Agent Deal; ‘No Way All These DTs Better Than Me’