INDIANAPOLIS -- Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still plans to make a bold statement when he works out for the 500-plus NFL scouts gathered at the Scouting Combine. But he didn't wait for Monday's on-field tests to make a bold declaration.
"I think, hands-down, I'm the best defensive tackle in this draft," Still said.
The 6-5, 303-pounder is doing twice daily workouts in Florida under the close watch of his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, at the Pete Bommarito training facility known as Perfect Competition.
Since going to Miami last month, Still left only briefly, to attend a memorial service for late coach Joe Paterno, and is only now coming to grips with the past four months of his life.
"Now as time goes on, I'm starting to comes to grips with it, starting to think that it is reality," Still said.
Still overcame injuries in back-to-back seasons before a breakout 2011 and is ranked by NFLDraftScout.com as the 10th-best player in the 2012 draft. That's second among defensive linemen, behind LSU junior Michael Brockers.
At 6-5, 323, Brockers is more of a three-technique, penetrating defensive tackle and said he wasn't familiar enough with Still's game to dispute the claim that Still made about being the best in the draft.
"We'll see on Monday," Brockers said.
Still was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 2011, crediting defensive line coach Larry Johnson Sr. for pushing him to realize his own potential in the face of personal adversity. After a torn ACL in his left knee as a freshman in 2007, Still fractured his fibula and broke his left ankle in preseason camp in 2008.
"His first two years he didn't trust in the fact that he would every play again," Johnson said at the end of the season.