INDIANAPOLIS -- Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still, who probably figures to be drafted somewhere around the Eagles' 15th overall slot in April, is not soft-peddling his skills.
"I think hands-down I'm the best defensive tackle in this draft," Still said in a session with the media Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine. NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock says he has first-round grades on five to seven d-tackles this year, so Still's claim is a bold one.
Still, a Camden native who grew up in Wilmington, said he clocked in at 6-5, 303. He will begin interviews with NFL teams tonight, he said, and doesn't know which teams have requested his presence.
Still talked about the turbulent end to his Penn State career -- the Jerry Sandusky scandal that caused the firing of head coach Joe Paterno, the harsh spotlight the team faced under interim coach Tom Bradley, then Paterno's abrupt death last month after he suffered complications from lung cancer treatment.
"It snuck up on us," said Still. Both he and defensive end Jack Crawford, interviewed earlier, said it was hard to comprehend that four months ago, Paterno was still coaching the Nittany Lions and all was well.
"We were hit so hard, blindsided by it, but we were able to get through," Still said. "I think that helped us grow as men ... Now, as time goes on, I'm starting to come to grips with it, starting to think that it is reality ... Seeing coach Paterno fired, and then a couple months later seeing him pass away, it was hard on us ... It was just his time to go home."
Still talked of having matured over the past few years, as he battled past injuries early in his college career to become a dominant player in 2011.
"To be honest, I don't think I would model my game after anybody," Still said. "My goal throughout college and my goal getting into the NFL is to make my own mark, to have somebody style their game after mine."