Derek Stingley Jr - CB - LSU
Welcome to the rookie profile for Derek Stingley Jr. Stingley Jr has the prototype size of a cornerback in the NFL paired with his exceptional athletic ability and the fact that he can go toe to toe with the quickest receivers in college football make him an exciting prospect and the number 1 cornerback in this year’s class. Stingley Jr. as a former wide receiver will use his previous experience at the position to read the game to near perfection on the other side of the ball.
Height: 6′ 1″
Weight: 195 lbs
40-yard dash: 4.29s
3-cone drill: DNP
20-yard shuttle: DNP
Vertical Jump: DNP
Broad Jump: DNP
Bench Press: DNP
Stingley Jr has an impressive family history as both his grandad and his father played college football at Purdue, his grandad, Daryl, a former first round pick in the NFL for the New England Patriots before having his career cut short with injury.
Stingley Jr was a five-star recruit out of high school and one of the highest rated corners in the Nation as he received 25 offers and all of the top college programs in football wanted him to commit to them, Stingley chose to opt for LSU.
Stingley Jr continued his impressive high school form into his collegiate career. In his freshman season he recorded 38 tackles and led the SEC conference with 6 interceptions and 15 passes defended. He was a big part of LSU’s championship winning team before they went on to lose to Clemson in the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship. Stingley Jr received All-SEC and All-American nominations.
Over the past two seasons injuries have held Stingley Jr back as we’ve only seen him take to the field 10 times out of a possible 22 games, failing to register a pick in that time.
In 2020 Stingley Jr managed 7 games as he missed the season opener due to illness and sat out the two final games of the season due to a foot injury; however he was still able to rack up 27 tackles, 5 passes defended and record his first college football forced fumble. Stingley Jr once again was handed All-Sec and All-American nominations.
2021 saw Stingley Jr only manage 3 games all season after re-aggravating a left foot injury that required surgery and ruling him out for the rest of the season. Stingley Jr chalked up 8 tackles and a forced fumble in a disappointing season.
Stingley Jr is an insane athlete with physical prowess to match and is extremely quick, running the 40 in the high 4.2s. His physicality and toughness make him very comfortable in press man and he can match up against the bigger and more physical receivers.
Very good in man coverage and does a good job of staying with receivers. He recovers very well from giving up leverage on routes, and has the speed to make up for rare lapses of concentration when he’s caught out of position. He’s at his best in press coverage as he’s not overly physical, however he does get his hands on opposing players to help him anticipate break points when going downfield, and possesses incredible long-speed to close any gaps with ease.
Stingley Jr has fantastic eye discipline, and he will often use the sideline to his advantage, forcing receivers out at the catch point. An impressive vertical makes this part of his game easy as he’ll often attack the catchpoint aggressively and will swat the ball away, when given the opportunity he will turn these type of opportunities into interceptions as he possesses very good hands.
A glaringly obvious red flag is the injuries over the past two seasons have severely limited Stingley Jr playing time, having missed over half of LSU’s games over the past two years. Reports suggest that the ankle will be fully recovered however this will be an obvious concern for NFL medical staff, especially as a lot of his game play relies on putting pressure on his feet.
Ideally, I would have liked to see Stingley Jr play more zone and when he has played there at times he has not looked as dominant as he is in man coverage. Often seems timid in zone coverage.
Stingley Jr could show a little more urgency in the tackling part of the game, he’s more than capable of being the last line of defense with his electric speed and physical attributes but not involved in this side of the game a great deal.
Pre Draft Analysis
Expected Draft Capital- Round 1
Despite his injury concerns Stingley Jr will still be a top 10 selection in this year’s draft, it’s simply too naïve to ignore his glaringly obvious talent and ability. Before his injuries he was head and shoulders above other cornerbacks and dominated in his freshman year, showing us that the next step up won’t concern him in the slightest.
Stingley is still the number 1 ranked corner in the draft, and he would be a great fit for the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons already have one of the best young pass rushing defenders in the business in A.J Terrell, if they add Stingley Jr then it’s safe to say that the Falcons will lock down one of the best young NFL cornerback tandems.
Should Stingley Jr fall to the number 8 spot he would simply be too good of an opportunity to turn down for Atlanta and may force them to put their future Franchise QB search on hold for a further year.
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Image Credit: Scott Clause – USA TODAY Sports