2022 NFL Draft First Look: Derek Stingley

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Derek Stingley burst onto the scene in 2019, establishing himself as one of the nation’s top cornerbacks as a true freshman and helping LSU to a national title. He was a consensus First-team All-American in 2019, and has been First-team All-SEC in 2019 and 2020. The 6’1″ 190 lb. Stingley will be a junior in 2021.

Strengths: From a physical and athletic standpoint, Stingley is built in a lab. He possesses ideal size and length, as well as elite athleticism. He fires out of his stance and is extremely fluid to flip his hips and transition out of his backpedal in the blink of an eye, giving up no ground in the process. He also has the quickness and speed to mirror a receiver throughout the route and match his every move, making him a truly elite man coverage corner who allows virtually no separation. Stingley is rarely targeted as a result, and when he is it is on a contested throw or on a short gain, as he does not allow separation deep. He is also remarkably poised in coverage, rarely panicking despite his young age. Stingley takes the majority of his reps in press coverage, where his jam is effective and he is very physical to disrupt the receiver’s route, but rarely draws flags. He excels in off coverage as well, where his eye discipline, positioning, and quickness are top-notch. Stingley is highly intelligent and disciplined in man coverage, diagnosing route combinations well and keeping everything in front of him, not getting baited by sudden or deceptive movements. He uses his length and physicality effectively to disrupt the catch point, creating a lot of ball production. Additionally, Stingley is really good at defending the run. He displays desired effort, an advanced ability to stack and shed, and highly reliable tackling with good technique. He uses his strength and skillful hand use to get off blocks and has an elite closing burst to make the play. In all phases of the game, Stingley is a very smooth mover with easy change of direction ability. Stingley is battle tested and has performed at an elite level throughout his two years at LSU against the nation’s best receiving corps. 

Weaknesses/Areas to Improve: Admittedly, there are very few holes in Stingley’s game and none of them are serious issues. Stingley could stand to get his head around sooner when the throw is coming his way to minimize potential pass interference penalties and maximize the opportunity to come away with the interception. In coverage, Stingley can get caught on stop routes and comeback routes. Additionally, super quick and elusive playmakers can shake a yard on him, though this happens very rarely. 

Bottom Line and 2021 Outlook: Stingley has been arguably the best cornerback in college football for two years, and I expect nothing but the same in 2021. The level he has played at means that merely maintaining it in 2021 will allow him to be the clear-cut CB1 in the 2022 NFL Draft Class as an elite, blue-chip prospect. Stingley is in many ways the prototype of the position, and he presents true All-Pro NFL potential. 

Make sure to check out @boldtakescouting on Instagram not only for these First Look scouting reports but also for follower questions and updates on our interviews of potential 2022 NFL Draft prospects. First up is Coastal Carolina CB D’Jordan Strong, who we will be interviewing live at 7 pm ET on all our platforms and live on the East West Facebook page.

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