Houston Texans rookie Derek Stingley Jr. will be elite from Day 1 in the NFL
Entering the 2022 NFL Draft, there was no guaranteed number-one overall prospect, so the Houston Texans had to sit and wait to see what happen as they held the third overall selection.
Scouts were all over the place before the draft, and most saw Aidan Hutchinson, the pass rusher from the Michigan Wolverines, as the number-one prospect because of his impact and leadership on the field this past season, but a few had someone else.
Derek Stingley Jr. was the best defensive back prospect seen in a long time according to some scouts, as he had a great freshman season , but after injuries and setbacks, people have doubts as to whether Stingley can return to the player he was in his freshman season at LSU.
Here is why Texans fans must know Stingley will be number one from day one.
Stingley was the number-one defensive back prospect coming out of Durham High School and was ranked top three overall in the nation. In Stingley’s senior year of high school, he was thrown at 18 times and had 11 interceptions with only one completion just before halftime when players were already walking off the field.
Being from Baton Rouge (Louisiana), Stingley committed to LSU instantly. Stingley had one of the most impressive freshman seasons in college history. Opposing quarterbacks targeted Stingley 69 times, and he only allowed 29 receptions.
Beginning his sophomore season, Stingley struggled with injuries for the next two years, but still only allowed a 41.1 completion percentage for his LSU career. As a freshman, he had the highest coverage grade in the country.
Stingley has unbelievable skills and physical gifts. Stingley ran a 4.44 40-yard dash, 1.56 10-yard split, 6.98 3-cone drill, 4.19 short shuttle, 38.5-inch vertical jump, and 10-foot-2 broad jump.
His pre-draft workout was very impressive, especially while still recovering from injury. Few defensive backs have the fluidity and incredible body control with their natural instincts to read the play before it happens like Stingley.
Texans: Head coach Lovie Smith holds Stingley in high regard as a rookie
Houston Texans fans will love seeing the elite talent Stingley brings when he steps onto the field, as head coach Lovie Smith was quoted in a recent NFL.com article by Grant Gordon:
"Lovie Smith says Stingley will “Go up against every opponent’s No. 1 receiver” as he should."
In college, Stingley went up against the elite players on the opposing teams, and other than his game in his freshman season versus DeVonta Smith, Stingley had phenomenal outings in nearly every game.
Fans should expect greatness from Stingley while with the Texans. It may not be instant, but it will come fast. Stingley has a significant chance to win defensive Rookie of the Year.
Stingley may be soft-spoken, and humble, but he is a savage on the field and will quickly become a fan favorite and the face of the Texans for a long time.
Some fans were not happy that Stingley received number 24 since former Texan great Johnathan Joseph wore it prior, but Stingley will more than make up for it and should become the greatest defensive back to play for the Texans.