CB Derek Stingley Jr., Louisiana St.*

6’1” – 190 lbs.

Background:

Baton Rouge local whose grandfather played receiver in the NFL; father was an Arena player and coach. Five-star recruit who started as a freshman, immediately establishing himself as a top cornerback with 38 tackles, six interceptions, and fifteen breakups. Followed that up with 27 tackles and five breakups over seven games in 2020, then was limited to three games this past year after suffering a season-ending foot injury, picking up eight tackles before declaring.

Positives:

Dominated against SEC competition as a true freshman. Has the height and length teams look for in a boundary corner, and offers rare athleticism. Was trusted to play a lot of man-free against top receivers, and would regularly get assigned to an opponent’s most dangerous target. Very good reaction times to stay in the hip pocket through transitions when playing man; also uses his hands well to feel routes developing. Fluid when flipping his hips. When working in off coverage, plants and drives quickly once the route breaks to put himself in position to make a play or stop. Uses his length and the boundary to squeeze routes. Does a great job of getting his head around and locating the ball. Very aggressive and competitive at the catch point, with excellent ball skills; was even projected to be a two-way player at one point. Maintains outside leverage when taking on blocks in the run game. Nice angles and good closing burst in pursuit, with a wide tackling radius. Also returned punts.

Negatives:

Draft status is largely based on his dominant 2019 season. Season-ending foot injury this past season will require further investigation. Played mostly on the right side of the defense. Closing burst is good but not elite. Can be a little bit too physical, or arrive at the catch point a little bit too early, which could lead to some penalties at the pro level. Some windows are there for quick breaking routes toward the middle of the field, getting his shoulders turned. Sat on some shorter patterns against zone combinations. Was successfully targeted on back-shoulder throws a few times during the games reviewed.

Summary:

Widely projected to be the top cornerback off the board, his rare combination of height, length, flexibility, aggressiveness, and ball skills could make him a team’s top cornerback at the next level, one with the ability to shadow opposing number-one receivers in man coverage. While he wasn’t asked to play too much zone during the games reviewed, has the type of instincts and ball skills to handle those responsibilities as well. Assuming teams are comfortable with his foot, should be off the board early, likely within the top five or ten picks.

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