LSU football defensive back Derek Stingley Jr has been viewed as a potential top-five NFL draft selection since his true freshman season in 2019.
Stingley was so good in 2019 that he could’ve entered the draft after his freshman season and he probably would’ve been at least a top 10 pick.
Unfortunately for Stingley, his freshman season was his best season at LSU.
Stingley missed three out of ten games as a sophomore in 2020 (one game due to illness and two games due to injury).
This past season, Stingley only played in three games due to injury.
Derek Stingley’s injuries have made his draft stock fall a bit
If Stingley could’ve repeated his 2019 season in 2021, he would almost certainly be a top-five pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
But because he’s only played in 10 games over the last two years, his draft stock has fallen a bit.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper has the Atlanta Falcons selecting Stingley with the No. 8 overall pick (via 247Sports).
Stingley is Kiper’s first cornerback off the board in his mock draft. So while Stingley’s draft stock isn’t quite as high as it once was, he’s still viewed as the best cornerback in the draft.
The Baton Rouge native is excellent in man-to-man coverage. He’s not the most physical cornerback in the draft, but his natural instincts allow him to mirror wide receivers.
Stingley is the best shutdown cornerback in this year’s draft. And shutdown cornerbacks aren’t easy to find. The Falcons won’t regret picking Stingley at No. 8 if that ends up being their selection.
Of course, there’s still time for Stingley to get his draft stock back up. I wouldn’t be surprised if when it’s all said and done he ends up going higher than No. 8.
Stingley has too much upside for teams to pass on.