When your Houston Texans selected cornerback Derek Stingley Jr third overall in this year’s NFL Draft, the reaction ranged from ecstatic to demoralized. Some thought this was a home run pick, others believed Texans general manager Nick Caserio wasted a high value draft asset on a failed gamble.
It’s nearly impossible to get an accurate read on a rookie this soon after the draft, but the bipolar optics continue.
John Harris on Derek Stingley Jr after 2 days of training camp “He is the epitome of what a cornerback is supposed to look like”— Drew (@IndepthTexans) July 30, 2022
The Texans have a star in sting pic.twitter.com/xppAiplbyp
For those who don’t spend way too much time following the minutia of Houston Texans lore, John Harris gets paid pretty pennies to write nice things about the team, players etc. So, as great of a football mind as he possesses, his opinion’s are biased and agenda driven. It’s literally his job to make the team look good.
Not everyone has their hand in Cal McNair’s pocket, however.
It’s early. It’s practice. He’s coming off an injury. Whatever the case, Derek Stingley Jr. REALLY looks like a rookie thus far .— Paul Gallant (@GallantSays) August 2, 2022
That and other assorted thoughts from #Texans practice today. #WeAreTexans pic.twitter.com/ZjSv2YXRQE
While his on-field execution might not look Jonathan Joseph-esque yet, you can’t question his heart and work ethic.
Now, as mentioned, Stingley is returning from a lisfranc injury, something old school Texans fans will remember from the Matt Schaub days of 2011. It’s a seemingly minor injury with major implications.
CB Derek Stingley Jr, #24, will ramp up slowly after dealing with a foot injury last year at LSU that led to surgery. GM Nick Caserio: “From what he’s done during the course of the spring, some of his testing metrics and numbers are better than anyone on the team.” pic.twitter.com/ysNNOFFZ2u— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) July 29, 2022
It’s not an easy injury to recover from, but so far Stingley looks like he’s getting after it.
Derek Stingley Jr smooth in drills pic.twitter.com/7XV5zMOHvy— Jayson Braddock (@JaysonBraddock) August 1, 2022
And, Caserio and head coach Lovie Smith both seem pleased with Stingley’s post-injury progress.
You probably noticed Derek getting more reps today. We’ll continue to bring him along at the pace that we had set up before camp started. He gets a little better each day, too.
Nick Caserio knew it was a risk to draft Derek Stingley Jr. third overall. Even with the highlight All-American season at LSU in 2019, his lingering injuries and limited production for two years certainly would have stopped most general managers from making the selection.
Caserio isn’t like most executives. His history of working throughout the front office and scouting department made him wise regarding dissecting talent. He viewed the 6-foot cornerback as a safe option for the Houston Texans, so why argue?
Nick Caserio via Sports Illustrated
It’s about one day at a time, making progress that day, turning the page to the next day and stacking days on top of each other,
It’s hard to know what Stingley’s career will ultimately look like, but from what we’ve seen so far, if he fails to be an all-pro it won’t be from a lack of effort or willpower.
Also, Texans CB coach Dino Vasso has been very attentive with Derek Stingley Jr. throughout training camp. Seems like after every play they meet up and review. Lots of work put in by the No. 3 pick, who's expected to be their lockdown corner this year.https://t.co/jcfxdp6zQP— Brooks Kubena (@BKubena) August 2, 2022