Riding into the 2022 NFL Draft, your Houston Texans desperately needed help in a lot of spots, none more so than the defensive backfield. When the third pick in the draft hit, Texans general manager Nick Caserio turned in the card for LSU cornerback phenom Derek Stingley Jr.
With Aidan Hutchinson already off the board to the Detroit Lions, Sting was likely the best prospect available, based on the information at hand. For some, he was considered a sure fire home run pick. For others, he had bust written all over him. Regardless of the point of view, his potential was clear for all to see.
Stingley’s debut last weekend against the Indianapolis Colts wasn’t Deon Sanders or Charles Woodson level, but it was far from Bust-ville.
When the final overtime whistle blew, Stingley had 7 total tackles, 3 solo, 4 assists, 2 passes completed against him and one key pass defense - that saved a touchdown.
Derek Stingley Jr Shuts Down Matt Ryan’s Touchdown
Before anyone gets down on him for not producing a Charles Woodson level debut (possibly the greatest #3 overall cornerback draft pick in NFL history), don’t forget Stingley is also recovering from a rather serious injury sustained in college.
As we all know, a cornerback’s life gets easier or harder based on the effectiveness of the front seven. Apply great pressure on the quarterback and life gets easier for the defensive backs. Give the QB time to roll thru his progressions and he’ll find open targets.
All that to say, Stingley’s success isn’t just about individual effort, but team effort. And, on a defense that tried to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the second half, Stingley was one of the bright spots.
Texans CB Derek Stingley Jr. Allowed 2 REC today Vs the Colts pic.twitter.com/kyMcbku5N4— Drew (@IndepthTexans) September 11, 2022
And, at this stage in Caserio’s rebuild, bright spots are the best we can hope for...
If Stingley can identify his mistakes, learn from them and continue to build on his already impressive football skillset he’ll go a long way to providing Texans fans with more and more bright spots as his career goes on.
Thankfully, Stingley is a smart, humble young man, with a solid defensive mentor in head coach Lovie Smith. Give this kid more time, and he just might be the one who finally outshines Jonathan Joseph in Houston Texans lore.
His next opportunity comes this weekend against Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos.
Welcome to the NFL Derek Stingley Jr. Now go out and make H-Town proud.