Many of you may know the name David Sills as the 13-year old quarterback phenom who gained notoriety back in the day by verbally committing to play football at USC as just a seventh-grader.
Fast forward to modern-day, and Sills is no longer a phenom, nor a quarterback. Instead, the former West Virginia standout spent the majority of his rookie NFL season on the New York Giants practice squad catching, not throwing, passes for the scout team.
However, now entering his second NFL season, Sills is eager to take the next step in his professional career and prove he belongs.
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From QB Phenom to Record-Setting WR
“You have a home here at receiver because I think you’re an NFL receiver.” That’s a direct quote from then-West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen to Sills following a subpar 2016 JUCO campaign at El Camino College.
Just like that, Sills put his life-long quarterback aspirations aside, instead opting to follow Holgersen’s vision. A decision that proved to be the right one.
Sills would go on to become one of the most productive wideouts in WVU history. His 35-career receiving touchdowns rank second all-time by a Mountaineer pass-catcher. Despite his uber-production, Sills, a projected mid-round draft pick, inexplicably fell out of the draft all together in 2019.
Yet, per a recent interview with MetroNews, Sills feels that his time on New York’s practice squad has only helped him master his craft.
Everyday in practice I was going against the first defense and going against good corners and good safeties and good linebackers on a consistent basis. I was taking every single rep. So I was getting my body ready to take a lot of reps.
I had to give these guys the best look that I could give. Me and a couple of the guys on practice squad, we looked at it like we were going to go out there and show everybody what we were made of. I think that propelled me into putting myself in a good spot for this year.
Sills noted that while the complex schemes in the NFL were far from a shock, the biggest adjustment from making the jump from college to the pros was the added elements of the route tree.
The routes in the NFL are a little bit different and a little bit more precise. I’m not going to say it was something I wasn’t good at. But it was something I could definitely refine and be a lot better at. The more reps you get, the better you are going to be at anything.
Sills Ready to Bid for Roster Spot
Wideouts Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton are obvious locks for the Giants’ 2020 roster. However, Sills will compete against the likes of Corey Coleman, Da’Mari Scott, Cody Core, Amba Etta-Tawo, Alex Bachman, and UDFAs Austin Mack, Victor Binjimen and Derrick Dillon for the final two to three wide receiver spots.
It will clearly be an uphill battle for Sills to make Big Blue’s 53-man roster. However, he knows that the best way for him to do so is to simply produce.
They look at you based on what your production is. How it is different than college is that it is not like he is coming in as a freshman, we’ll redshirt him and give him some time and in three or four years he will be a good player for us. Once you get there, they expect you to produce right away.