Can Derek Stingley Jr. Live Up To His Freshman Hype? Scouting Report and More

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    It’s no secret that offense in football is dominated by the passing game in this day and age. It’s getting tougher and tougher for defenses to stop the passing game as the offensive schemes get more creative, and offensive players are becoming more talented and athletic. The first line of defense in coverage are cornerbacks (CBs) in most defensive coverages, and the NFL is taking note of that in their team-building strategies. Not only are teams getting deeper at the position by carrying more CBs on their roster than ever before, but they are aiming to add more and more starting talent at the position.

    With that being said, the 2022 NFL Draft should have a good selection of talented, good NFL-caliber cornerbacks available. One of those is Derek Stingley Jr., out of LSU. If you have followed College Football the last few years, it’s likely that you recognize the name, as Stingley had one of the most impressive freshman campaigns you’ll ever see. He was a huge factor in LSU’s 2019-20 National Championship run. In light of all of his success, I decided to dive into his film, and see how he looks as an NFL prospect.

    PASADENA, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 04: Derek Stingley Jr. #7 of the LSU Tigers reacts against the UCLA Bruins in the first quarter at Rose Bowl on September 04, 2021 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    Important Information:

    Projected Position: DC (Outside Cornerback)

    Height: 6’1”

    Weight: 195

    Birthday: 06/20/01

    Career Stats: 6 INT, 20 PD, 2 FF, 73 TKLs

    Injuries: 2021: Procedure on Left Foot (9 games missed)

    2020: Illness (1 game missed), Lingering Leg Injury (2 games missed)

    Trait Grades (out of 7):

    Athletic Ability: 5

    Play Speed: 5

    Competitive Toughness: 4

    Mental Processing: 5

    Play Strength: 3

    Man Coverage: 5

    Ball Skills: 6

    Line of Scrimmage Skills: 5

    Run Support: 3

    Open Field Tackling: 4

    Final Grade (out of 8):

    6.88, Day 1 Quality Starter

    LSU junior cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. PHOTO BY: Jonathan Mailhes


    Stingley was a 5 star and one of the top players coming out of his recruiting class in the nation, regardless of position. He backed that up by being possibly the best cornerback in College Football in his true freshman season, being a consensus All-American. He often was trusted to play on an island, and for the most part, shut down any receiver he faced throughout his college career.

    Athletic Ability/Body Type:

    Stingley has good height, solid weight and seemingly good arm length, with room to fill out more. He has great acceleration and hip fluidity, good foot speed and balance, with solid quickness and agility.


    Stingley is a starting outside corner, likely to the wide side of the field, in a primarily man scheme, with the potential to be one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. He will be at his best in press-man with safety help due to his good line of scrimmage skills and great ability to play trail man coverage. He also has the skill sets to play both man and zone coverages from off coverage, with his good instincts and closing speed. He has great ball skills, being able to locate the football with his back to the quarterback, as well as playing the ball through the receiver’s hands, breaking up passes. His active hands at the line of scrimmage make him a good jammer, and good at disrupting routes. He’s great at covering certain routes like verts, fades, outs, ins, crosses, primarily due to his good ability to match outside releases, or due to his good closing speed. While he’s not the best run defender, he has a solid ability to bring ball carriers down in the open field, since he hits low and wraps up.


    As I mentioned previously, teams are valuing cornerbacks more and more in their roster-building strategies. Therefore I expect cornerbacks like Derek Stingley Jr. to be quite high on many team’s draft boards, especially teams that lack talent on their roster at the position. While I still have many more cornerback prospects to watch before the upcoming 2022 NFL draft, I can safely say Stingley is one of, maybe even the best, cornerbacks in the draft class. Given the demand and value of CBs in the NFL, Stingley is likely to be drafted high; I can see him going as high as top 4 in the draft. While my grade for him isn’t quite that of a top 4 player in the draft, with the importance of the position, combined with the need for talented cornerbacks, I wouldn’t have any issues with him being drafted that high. In fact, I expect it to happen, Stingley should be a very high draft pick. Teams should bank on not only his immediate impact but his untapped potential.

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