Football, Sports, WVU Sports

Production and versatility drew Arizona to WVU’s Dante Stills

Arizona Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort thinks day three of the NFL Draft is less about trying to fill needs and more about acquiring talent.

“You get to the third day of the draft and it’s not necessarily you’re looking to fill a specific need, we’re just looking for good players,” Ossenfort said after the 2023 NFL Draft ended on Saturday. 

He believes the Cardinals did just that when they selected former WVU defensive lineman Dante Stills in the sixth round.

“A defensive lineman who’s been highly productive in his career,” Ossenfort said. “He brings some inside-outside pass rush. We were excited to add another line of scrimmage player.”

The Cardinals selected Stills 213th overall as the ninth and final player of their 2023 draft class. 

Ending up in the desert did not come as a big surprise to Stills, a Fairmont, W.Va. native, who said he expects to play mostly inside at the next level.

“I had an idea they liked me from the beginning,” Stills said in a statement released by the Cardinals. “In my college career I played everywhere but I feel I fit best at three-technique and the five(-technique), but I’ll probably play more three inside.”

In addition to Stills’ production — he holds the all-time WVU career record with 52.5 tackles for loss — Ossenfort said they also valued his versatility to play all along the defensive line.

“Position versatility is something we’re always going to value,” he said. “Dante Stills has played multiple places along the line of scrimmage. It goes back to the old saying, ‘the more you can do.’ It applies to the football team too.”

Versatility was one of Stills’ biggest selling points prior to the draft. 

“You could make the argument he could fit in a four-down front or a three-down front,” WVU head coach Neal Brown said at the team’s pro day last month. “That’s where sometimes some of the defensive 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.”

In going to the NFL, Stills is following in the footsteps of his father, Gary Stills, who was drafted in the third round of the 1999 NFL draft and his older brother, Darius Stills, who signed as an undrafted free agent following the 2021 draft.

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