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Recent posts by Nolan Nawrocki
Fifth of a six-part series
Each day during the Scouting Combine through Tuesday, we'll feature Nolan Nawrocki's in-depth scouting report of a top draft prospect.
3T-5T Devon Still, #71
Penn State| Grade: 5.60
Ht: 6-4 7/8 | Wt: 303| Sp: 5.05e | Arm: 33 1/4 | Hand: 10
Notes: Has a daughter. Has two cousins with noteworthy NFL careers — Art Still was a four-time Pro Bowl defensive end for the Chiefs and Bills (1978-89) and Levon Kirkland was an All-Pro linebacker who played for the Steelers, Seahawks and Eagles (1992-2002). Devon also competed in basketball and track and field as a Delaware prep. Redshirted in '07 after tearing his right ACL during fall camp. Broke his left ankle during '08 season and saw very limited action in three games (season opener and final two contests). Played all 13 games in '09 (started the Capital One Bowl against LSU), notching 19-5 1/2-2 with two passes batted down. Started 12-of-13 games in '10 and registered 39-10-4 with one batted pass. Did not start against Indiana as punishment for showing up late to a team breakfast. Named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year after making all 13 starts at DRT spot in '11 and leading the team in tackles for loss. Totaled 55-17-4 1/2 with one pass batted down and one forced fumble. Team captain.
Positives: Excellent body length and frame with broad shoulders and good overall thickness. Flashes quickness off the ball — times the snap, throws his hips in the hole and is effective slanting, stunting and shooting gaps. Will knife into the backfield when unencumbered and can be disruptive making plays behind the line of scrimmage. Has long clubs and knows how to use them to slap and swim past blockers. Rose to the occasion against Alabama and had a knack for making plays when they were needed. Has NFL pedigree.
Negatives: Tends to rise out of his stance, negating his leverage and allowing him to be knocked off the ball and sealed. Can be handled by the double-team and controlled (even rag-dolled) vs. powerful blockers. Can benefit from learning more counter moves. Inconsistent effort — gets stalled and hung up on the line and can be late to locate the ball. Average lateral agility and playing range. Spends more time on the ground than he should and was pancaked in all four viewings from 2010-11. Must do a better job protecting his legs and playing to his size. Has underachiever traits. Not a consistent finisher or an imposing nail-eater. Was slowed by injuries early in career and wore down late in the season as a senior. Much of his production came against inferior competition.
Summary: Matured as a senior following the birth of his daughter and made his final season his best. Has received some first-round grades as an end from teams employing 3-4 fronts. However, he lacks ideal functional base anchor strength and the tenacity to serve as a fence post and needs to play in gaps for an even front to be most effective. Has clear physical talent to excel as a three-technique if he can learn to play with more consistent pad level and intensity.
NFL projection: Late first-round pick.
Nolan Nawrocki's 2012 Draft Preview book, with scouting reports on approximately 500 prospects, will go on sale March 27 at bookstores everywhere. It also can be preordered at PFWstore.com either individually or as part of a combo-pack with the 2012 Draft Guide magazine, which goes on sale March 6.