NFL Draft 2022 Rumors: Derek Stingley Jr. Has Buzz as Top-3 Pick to Lions, Texans

Adam WellsApril 22, 2022

PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 04: LSU Tigers Cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. (7) celebrates during a college football game between the LSU Tigers and the UCLA Bruins played on September 4, 2021 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After dazzling scouts with his workout during LSU's pro day earlier this month, Derek Stingley Jr. could hear his name called very early in the 2022 NFL draft. 

Per ESPN's Matt Miller, Stingley is the "hottest name" in the draft right now and could go to either the Detroit Lions at No. 2 or Houston Texans at No. 3. 

Miller noted the Seattle Seahawks at No. 9 "feel like" the floor for Stingley. 

Stingley has been one of the draft's biggest question marks for a long time because of his injury status. He only played in three games last season because of a Lisfranc injury that required surgery in October. 

Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Stingley met with foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson three times, including once in Indianapolis during the NFL Scouting Combine, and received full medical clearance to take part in LSU's pro day. 


CB Derek Stingley Jr.'s <a href="https://twitter.com/LSUfootball?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LSUfootball</a> Pro Day:<br><br>4.37u 40<br>38.5" vertical<br>10'2" broad<br><br>Where does he rank among DBs in this year's draft class? (via <a href="https://twitter.com/JamesPalmerTV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JamesPalmerTV</a>) <a href="https://t.co/imS6MIJpFb">pic.twitter.com/imS6MIJpFb</a>

After Stingley showed off his physical traits during his pro-day workout on April 6, the buzz about him potentially being a top-10 draft pick started to pick up steam. 

B/R's NFL Scouting Department has Stingley going No. 12 to the Minnesota Vikings in a mock draft posted on April 1. He is the top-ranked cornerback in the class and No. 7 overall prospect, per B/R's Scouting Department

Without a clear consensus about who the top picks in this year's draft will be, teams could be casting a wide net before they have to make a final decision.

The Lions and Texans don't have rosters loaded with talent right now. They could opt to go after the best player available instead of filling a specific need. 

At his best, Stingley was a true shutdown cornerback playing in the best college football conference in the country. He was a consensus All-American as a true freshman in 2019. The Louisiana native recorded 15 pass breakups and six interceptions in 15 games. 

Despite playing just 10 games over the past two seasons combined, Stingley's upside at one of the most important positions on the field could make it too difficult for a team with an early pick to pass him up.