03 Sep Derek Stingley Jr., LSU
Junior (3Jr) | 6’1″ 195 lbs | Baton Rouge, Louisiana | 6/20/2001
Derek Stingley Jr. is a complete cornerback prospect with elite athleticism along with the refined technical skills to be an NFL cornerback immediately.
Derek Stingley Jr. arrived at LSU as a consensus five-star recruit and one of best prospects in his class regardless of position. He enrolled early and earned one of the starting cornerback jobs as a true freshman in 2019. Stingley delivered on his hype and then some, earning consensus First-Team All-SEC and All-American honors as a true freshman. He helped the Tigers go undefeated and win a national championship. Unfortunately, Stingley struggled with illness and injuries throughout the 2020 season. He still performed decently well but certainly did not match his 2019 form.
Stingley plays the vast majority of snaps at outside cornerback. He primarily plays to the defense’s right side, covering the X receiver. But he also occasionally lines up in the slot or as a safety. Stingley mostly aligns in press-jam technique directly across from the receiver. He plays a variety of zones, both deep and short, but is primarily used as an eraser for the backside receiver.
- Ideal size and frame for outside cornerback. Seems to have good arm length as well.
- Very good foot speed prevents him from getting burned over the top. Allows him to take risks at the LOS because he has the speed to recover and get back in phase.
- Elite change of direction skills: foot quickness and hip fluidity are special; able to change direction both smoothly and explosively.
- Excellent LOS skills with rare strike power on his punch. Incredibly quick feet prevent receivers from getting the best of him off the snap. Very patient and disciplined dealing with releases.
- Great in zone coverage: very good awareness and eyes, especially in deeper zones, allowing him to read QBs and WRs simultaneously. Click and close is remarkable when ball is thrown his way, eating up any separation he allows very quickly.
- Excellent in man coverage: Athletic ability and speed allow him to prevent separation against almost every wide receiver. Displays great understanding of leverage and body positioning to keep himself in the proper position.
- Great instincts and discipline in coverage. Has rare feel for how receivers try to attack him; does not panic running down the field in trail technique.
- Very good ball skills: great ball tracking, keeping eyes on the ball as soon as it leaves QB’s hand; athleticism allows him to close on the ball, times his jump very well to meet the receiver at the catch point.
- Good in run support: willing to get involved in the run fit; solid tackler in space, using length and movement skills to reach ball carrier and bring them down.
- Occasionally used as a blitzer from boundary corner position; effective in this role with great timing and closing speed.
Areas To Improve:
- Occasional lapses in processing route concepts when in zone coverage. Will take the bait to stay with first receiver which opens up his zone.
- Looks a tad skinny, especially in the arms and legs, leading to some issues tackling larger ball carriers.
- Missed season opener of 2020 due to illness
- Missed final two games of 2020 after dealing with nagging ankle injury
- Enters 2021 still dealing with minor injury but expected to play Week 1
Derek Stingley Jr. burst onto the scene in 2019, immediately delivering on the hype for one of the highest-rated recruits of all time. He struggled in 2020 but there were extenuating circumstances. This year, Stingley should finally be healthy and be able to remind people why he won SEC Freshman of the Year in 2019. He is an elite athlete but he also displays refinement in the more technical aspects of the game, especially at the line of scrimmage.
Stingley projects as a solid CB1 his rookie year if he can avoid injuries. He has the skills to succeed in both a zone or man scheme but would fit best in a press-man coverage scheme. While he’s not a perfect player, he’ll likely be the best CB prospect since Jalen Ramsey. Stingley has the potential to be a perennial top-ten corner in the NFL and could easily be drafted in the top-ten or even top-five.
Mitchell Wolfe is from Central Pennsylvania but loves all things Pittsburgh. He recently earned a Master’s degree in Sport Business with a concentration in Sports Analytics from Temple University. Mitch is a graduate of The Scouting Academy and has worked for Pro Football Focus as well. He is interested in developing ways to incorporate data-based decision-making into the scouting and drafting process. In his spare time, Mitch likes to play video games, read about history, or spend time with his fiance and their pets.