The Bengals drafted Devon Still in the 2nd round of the 2012 NFL Draft not so much because he filled a need, but because he was a value pick. Especially after the Bengals used another draft pick, their 3rd rounder, on a defensive tackle in Brandon Thompson, it was unclear how the Bengals planned to use their defensive lineman this year. Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer loves rotation on the defensive line and he has a very deep defensive line this year.
In practice, Devon Still is lining up at not just defensive tackle, but, on occasion, at defensive end. This makes some sense as the Bengals lost two run stuffing defensive ends in free agency, Frostee Rucker and Jonathan Fanene. Still at 305 pounds would certainly be stout against the run at defensive end, though he’s not a natural fit for the position. Fanene and Rucker also played some snaps at defensive tackle. It’s looking like Still could play in that role for the Bengals this season and see immediate snaps as a situational defensive end and defensive tackle. Thompson, meanwhile, will be a pure backup to Domata Peko at nose tackle and won’t see much of the field, at least in 2012.