Derek Stingley Jr. is the most boom-or-bust prospect in the NFL Draft

There could be no polarizing player more than LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. in this year’s NFL Draft.

The 20-year-old had a wonderful freshman season in 2019, with six interceptions and 15 pass breakups to help the Tigers to the national title. But he has played in only 10 games in the past two injured years, with no interceptions at that time and NFL teams have to wonder about his versatility.

“I find that this is extraordinarily difficult,” said Mike Tennenbaum, a former Jets GM and current ESPN analyst, “and I often like to make that decision rather than make a real decision in the media. Because this is one that will keep you up – night – if in three years, we say he is one of the two or three best football players in this draft, I would not be surprised and if we said two or three years. آهن There are questions about his durability, I will not – surprise – this is what makes the draft process so difficult.

Stingley was widely regarded as the best cornerback Baker to take in this year’s draft class in the 2021 season. But he suffered a Lisfranc injury and underwent surgery on his foot on September 29, missing all three games. Stingley’s draft stock has fallen and many people now support Cincinnati’s Ahmed “Sass” Gardner ahead of him. Stingley has certainly gone from being a top 10 pick to a guy who could slip into his late teens or even into his 20s.

Derek Stingley Jr. at the NFL Combine.
AP

ESPN Draft Analyst Mel Kiper Jr. still believes that Stingley is the best cornerback in this class.

“Stingley, Jr. was a lockdown cornerback as an 18-year-old freshman in 2019 when LSU won the national title and finished 15-0,” Kipper said via email. “He practically went up against Jammer Chase every day that same year. They had some pestilences. COVID was killed in 2020 and was injured in 2021 and due to injury it was forced to close soon.

“He’s been removed for several years now from a great season, which is why Susan Gardner has moved on from some of the analysts’ boards to Stingley, Jr.. I really like Gardner, but I’ve been with Stingley, Jr., provided he doesn’t have a problem with the injury that we won’t know for sure until his pro day.

It’s Pro Day on Wednesday, six months after Stingley’s surgery. He was unable to participate in NFL Scouting Combine drills, but now the teams will see how healthy he is. There is no lack of confidence in Stingley.

“I know myself and I know that when I’m on the best version of myself, I’m huge,” Stingley said.

NFL GM might not be so sure. Tannenbaum said the risk factor could be huge for teams that would select in the top 10.

Derek Stingley Jr. intercepts a pass during the 2019 game against Auburn.
Derek Stingley Jr. intercepts a pass during the 2019 game against Auburn.
USA TODAY Sports

“He has incredible talent, but when you are growing up, you want to check as many boxes as you can and the fact that he has played in 10 games in two years, it gives me a lot of concern. , “Tennenbaum said.

Keeper said that will be a tough call for teams to make.

“Stingley, Jr. provides a difficult diagnosis,” Kepler said. “You always want a player drafted early to finish strong in terms of the regular season and the entire draft process. It wasn’t a deal with Stingley, Jr., but it was a deal with Gardner.

Kiper believes that Stingley could go to the Jets at No. 10 or shortly afterwards.

“Washington or Minnesota might be the best landing spot for Stingley, Jr.,” Kipper said. “New York is the same for the Jets, who are picking at 10. Washington is at 11 and Minnesota is at 12. The Jets need a real # 1 lockdown CB and Washington and Minnesota have one of their big needs. Is a. “

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