Derek Stingley Jr. has been making a name for himself as an effective and flexible player despite his short career. Being the third draft pick for the Houston Texans in 2022 came as little to no surprise for those following college football.
When it comes to NFL lines, it is important to know who to keep an eye on. Stingley is one of the players who can easily change the outcome of a game.
Derek Stingley Jr. comes from a strong line of football players. His grandfather Darryl Stingley was a first-round pick for the New England Patriots in 1973, whereas his father Derek Stingley Sr. played quarterback at Purdue.
Below we have outlined the early career of this up-and-coming football player and how he is poised to have a successful professional career.
Stingley joined Louisiana State University in 2019 and immediately become a player to look out for.
He started most of his games and his 2019 season is what set him apart from other players. Stingley showed himself to be a talented and adaptable player. He assisted his team in gaining an undefeated victory during the College Football National Championship.
His freshman year at LSU was impressive. He led the Southeastern Conference (SEC) with 6 interceptions and 21 passes defended. He was also selected for the first-team All-SEC and was also a consensus All-American. Stingley received first-team honors from AP, American Football Coaches Association, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, and The Sporting News.
All of these achievements led Stingley to be the most decorated freshman in LSU history.
In 2020, Stingley had to miss 3 games in the season due to injury and illness but was still named to the first-team All-SEC.
His 2021 season was also limited due to an injury. He played the first 3 games of the season while dealing with the injury that halted him during the 2020 season, but then he got a foot injury that sidelined him for the rest of the season.
His predraft measurables included a 4.44-second 40-yard dash and a 38.5-inch vertical jump. His draft into the Houston Texans gave him a tied record with Shawn Springs as the highest draft selection for a cornerback in NFL history.
Despite only playing 10 games between the 2020 and 2021 seasons, Stingley showed himself to be a formidable player that can be beneficial to any team he is on.
His first NFL game took place on the 20th of August 2022 against the Los Angeles Rams in a pre-season match. The goal was to get Stingley into a match so that he can be prepared before a regular season. He started the game and made about 15 plays in total. Stingley finished with a tackle and pass breakup and in the end, the Houston Texans won the match.
Stingley has stated that he is excited for the regular season to start since he missed out on most of the 2021 season. So far it seems his previous injuries haven’t hindered his current play.
Stingley has been noted for his impressive size, speed, and explosiveness. These attributes give him the potential to become one of the greatest cornerbacks. One of the downsides of Stingley missing more of the 2020 and 2021 seasons is that we have yet to see his true potential. While his 2019 season was more than impressive, it was still his freshman year and Stingley is prime to get better with more practice in NFL games.
Coaches of Stingley have stated that one of his best attributes is his thirst for knowledge. Gaining information and skills, not just about your position, but also football as a whole can help a person to become a truly flexible and adaptive player overall.
Stingley has begun to show this flexibility with his willingness to run support, be physical in block destruction, and his patience at the line of scrimmage.
His smooth running style and hip swivel give him impressive speed and when that is combined with his amazing ball skills they make him an incredible backfield defender.
Stingley has a strategic way of playing the game, being able to anticipate out-breaking routes in order to undercut them.
Even with his lack of plays, Stingley is the whole package when it comes to an effective cornerback. His potential in the NFL is unmatched and we are excited to see what he can bring to the field.