There were some NFL draft analysts who believed that Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still would end up in a Steelers uniform.
That did not happen as he was off the board before the Steelers made their second round pick Friday, but the Steelers will get to see plenty of him as he went to one of their AFC North Division rivals.
Still will play for the Cincinnati Bengals, who drafted him with the 21st pick of the second round (53rd overall). He fills a need for them as they were desperate to get bigger on the interior of their defensive line.
"He's another young guy with an opportunity to come in here and solidify our front," coach Marvin Lewis said Friday at a news conference. "He's had games where he's basically just taken over the football game. Now the challenge is obviously can he do it at this level."
He was projected as a late first-round pick but slid to the back half of the second round. According to NFL analyst Mike Mayock, Still was inconsistent in college and he doesn't always play as big as his size (6 feet 5, 310 pounds).
"The Bengals need a big body behind Geno Atkins who can come in and play on run downs," Mayock wrote on NFL.com after the Bengals selected Still. "A lot of people thought a year ago that Still would be a top-20 pick, but his tape is indifferent and inconsistent."
While some may have questioned his consistency, nobody questioned his production at Penn State as Still, from Wilmington, Del., was the 2011 Big Ten Conference defensive player of the year and also garnered All-American and All-Big Ten
He had 55 total tackles, 29 solo, 17 tackles for losses and 41/2 sacks. He is the 10th Nittany Lions defensive lineman to be drafted since 1996 when defensive line coach Larry Johnson Sr. joined the coaching staff.
The early part of Still's career at Penn State was riddled with injuries, which also led to some questions about his durability. The fact that he was so productive as a senior as opposed to his other three years raised some concerns as perhaps being a one-year wonder, as well.
But Still told the Cincinnati Enquirer that none of those questions matter any more as he now will have the chance to prove himself on the field.
He also said he is a good fit for the Bengals' style of defense.
"Everyone has their own opinion," Still told the newspaper. "After my sophomore year, I improved each year. I wouldn't say I didn't use my talent until my senior year -- it's more that I didn't have the opportunity to learn the college game as other players did.
"Every time I saw them [the Bengals] defense caused the other team problems," Still said. "Just to be a man on the defense and rotation hopefully I can give them what they need to get them to the Super Bowl."
Still is the cousin of former Steelers linebacker Levon Kirkland, who also played under Lewis when Lewis was an assistant coach with the Steelers.