MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Following seven rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders had concluded its selections… but the team wasn’t done.
It quickly signed 10 undrafted free agents from the likes of Notre Dame, Pitt, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, and West Virginia.
The sole Mountaineer? Darius Stills, college defensive tackle phenom. It’s unusual to see an All-American go undrafted, and thus, Stills relocated to Las Vegas with a chip on his shoulder. Only the twelfth consensus first-team All-American in West Virginia Football history, Stills set to work proving to the Raiders’ staff that he belonged.
The Fairmont, W.Va. native is one of five defensive tackles on the Raiders’ preseason depth chart, sharing time on the two’s with two-year veteran Kendal Vickers, from Tennessee. In last night’s Raiders – Rams win – Stills’ debut – he had an assist, helping to prove his worth alongside five-year veteran Darius Philon.
The Raiders’ DT room is stacked, with five different players vying for first and second team reps. Whether Stills will see his name on a Raiders roster come Week 1 is up in the air. His size, 6’0″ and 278 lbs, is cause for concern on an NFL D-line, but it’s a tad too early to tell how the Las Vegas staff will handle him.
Mountaineer Nation anxiously awaits Aug. 24, when the team parses down to 80, and once again on Aug. 31, when the 53-man roster is solidified. Stills has one more opportunity to prove his worth: Aug. 29 in San Francisco, where he’ll be reunited with fellow Mountaineer, 49ers offensive tackle Colton McKivitz.
Stills’ brother Dante is encouraged every day by his older brother’s NFL presence, saying, “He calls me probably every other day, maybe every day, and talks to me about his practice and how he did. Just teaching me little things I can fix, because I might send him film of me. I just learn from him every day, just on how the process goes and how to be patient with it.”
— WVU Football (@WVUfootball) August 22, 2021