Originally Posted by Matthew Jones
Still could be one of the first defensive tackles selected but projected draft position is not factored into these rankings; draft position does not dictate future success in the NFL. Still is nowhere near as physically gifted as either Pierre-Paul or Phil Taylor; Pierre-Paul was a very raw prospect with extremely limited football experience who only started to put it together in his final season whereas Still took years to get healthy and give any semblance of effort on the field. Anecdotal evidence makes for a weak argument.
If you want to talk about production on the field, why don't we talk about the DTs you have ranked above Still?
1. Brandon Thompson, Clemson - He is a solid player, but he is simply not a pass-rushing threat. He will occasionally push the pocket but has little quickness or disruptiveness. He had 45 tackles with 6.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
2. Alameda Ta'amu, Washington - He was the anchor of one of the worst defenses in college football this year. Teams ran all over the Huskies and passed all over them. The problem was that Taamu and the other defensive linemen were shut down with ease by most of the offensive lines they faced. Taamu presents absolutely zero pass rush threat, and is inconsistent as a run-stopping anchor as well. This season, he had a measly 28 tackles with seven tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks.
3. Jerel Worthy, Michigan St.* - This big guy is maybe the most inconsistent DT in the country. He'll flash on occasion but disappear for entire games at a time, and is often on the sideline huffing and puffing, as his conditioning is clearly sketchy. This year, he had 3.5 sacks with 25 tackles and 8.5 tackles for a loss.
4. Fletcher Cox, Mississippi St.* - This guy was completely nonexistent for the first five games of the Miss. St. season. Then he exploded for four sacks against South Carolina and Kentucky. He ended the season with 49 tackles with 12.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks and one forced fumble.
So to recap:
Brandon Thompson - 45 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks.
Alameda Ta'amu - 28 tackles, 7 TFL, 3.5 sacks.
Jerel Worthy - 25 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks.
Fletcher Cox - 49 tackles, 12.5 TFL, 4 sacks
And compare to:
Devon Still - 55 tackles, 17 TFL, 4.5 sacks
I know you want to harp on the fact that you haven't seen much production from him prior to this year, but I haven't seen any production from the other guys you have ranked ahead of him, even THIS year. If Still is a one-year wonder, he is at least a wonder at all. Thompson, Taamu, and Worthy just don't produce at all, now or in the past. The only DT who should be ranked alongside Still or even be in consideration for the #1 DT ranking is Cox. Still's production blows Ta'amu, Worthy, and Thompson out of the water.
I would understand if you ranked productive DTs above Still, who is a good, but not elite DT prospect, but in this weak DT class, STill is the clearly the best of a mediocre bunch regardless of one-year's worth of production.