MORGANTOWN — Former WVU defensive lineman Dante Stills has been drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the sixth round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Stills follows in the footsteps of his father, Gary, a third-round pick of Kansas City in 1999, and brother Darius, who signed as an undrafted free agent with the then-Oakland Raiders in 2021.
Stills played five seasons at WVU from 2018-22. He finished his time as a Mountaineer with career records for games played (58) and tackles for loss (52.5). He also finished fourth all-time with 23.5 sacks.
At WVU’s pro day in March, head coach Neal Brown said Stills is attractive to pro teams because of the versatility he displayed in college.
“You could make the argument he could fit in a four-down front or a three-down front,” Brown said. “That’s where sometimes some of the d-linemen get pigeon-holed because they can only do what’s expected out of a four-down or a three-down (lineman). He has the versatility to do both and he’s got video of playing both.”
The Cardinals hired former Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon as their head coach this offseason. Gannon used a four-down from with the Eagles.
Stills reached double-digit tackles for loss in three seasons at WVU, setting a career-high with 15 in 2021. He reached seven sacks in two seasons, 2019 and 2021.
In preparing to make the jump to the pros, Stills said he focused on the mental side of the game.
“I did a lot of growing, I matured a lot,” Stills said at his pro day. “I don’t have a guaranteed spot on a team anymore, I don’t have a job right now. I’m trying to earn that spot and take people’s spots who have been in the league for seven, eight years and are vets. My whole mentality’s changing, I have to go into a league where guys have families and everything like that. It’s a grown man’s game.”
Stills measured at 6’ 3 1/2″ and 293 pounds at WVU’s pro day. He increased his reps on the bench press from 20 at the NFL Scouting Combine to 26 at his pro day.