The former Polar Bear originally planned to go pro after three years in Morgantown. Instead, he has decided to stick around for two more seasons as a Mountaineer and aims for his second straight season on the All-Big 12 First Team.
Stills also hopes, obviously, to improve his NFL Draft stock so he can become the first Mountaineer player selected in the draft since 2021. Even though there are about 10 months and an entire football season until the 2023 Draft, it’s looking like the Fairmont native has the best shot to get the call.
The Athletic released its top 10 NFL prospects out of the Big 12 Conference on Monday, and Stills was the only Mountaineer on the list, as writer Diante Lee stated he has the “positional versatility and individual talent” to play in the league.
“Stills has a strong get-off and plays with good balance and active feet, even when he’s striking blockers. His arm-over move is effective as a pass rusher, and West Virginia has found production from Stills in every alignment,” Lee writes. “Sack totals usually decide who wins conference awards on the defensive line, but don’t be surprised if Stills is 2022’s best defensive lineman in the Big 12, with or without the hardware.”
Stills has long been on the NFL Draft radar since his much-awaited WVU arrival in 2018. Ahead of the 2022 season, Brian Lamb of NFL Draft Lounge dubbed the then-preseason All-American a “mid-round 2022 NFL gem” with the potential of shooting up to the third round.
Even up until April (months after he had announced his decision to return for his fifth season), Walter Football ranked Stills in the top 12 in his position.
Of course, a lot can change in the next 10 months. Stills’s highly-anticipated final campaign opens on Sept. 1 with his first-ever appearance in the Backyard Brawl.