Eleven targets for Commanders at pick No. 11: Derek Stingley Jr.


In this series, Pete Hailey will preview 11 players whom the Commanders could select with the 11th overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Next up: Cornerback Derek Stingley Jr.

Background: Will turn 21 in June... 6-foot-1, 195-pound defensive back... Baton Rouge, Louisiana native... Played three seasons at LSU... Missed nine games in 2021 with a Lisfranc injury... Best year was 2019, where he recorded six interceptions and was a consensus All-American.

Biggest strength: Stingley Jr. is renowned for many qualities, but it's his overall smoothness that is most appealing.

Whether he's backpedaling in the early part of a receiver's route, turning his hips to track an opponent deeper down the field or breaking on a ball once it's thrown, Stingley Jr. does it all with ease. There's a reason why the guy logged six picks as a freshman in the SEC.

That natural athleticism is going to be tantalizing for every team picking in the early to middle stages of the first round, and Ron Rivera loves identifying and developing sticky corners.

At his best, Stingley Jr. can erase a top pass catcher and give his own offense advantageous field position thanks to his turnover production. Labeling him as a potential star is a totally fair thing to do.

Biggest question mark: Stingley Jr. was dominant in his debut campaign for LSU, but injuries marred his sophomore go-round and ruined his junior year. That means he's two seasons removed from his peak as a prospect, and those health issues could instill some doubt about whether he'll reach those heights again.


To Stingley Jr.'s credit, he still earned a First-Team All-American nod in 2020 despite missing three contests. But the aforementioned Lisfranc problem sidelined him for nine games in 2021 and also required surgery, preventing him from capping what could've been a seriously-decorated college career.

Stingley Jr. is still going to be taken in the first round because he possesses so many elite qualities, but Cincinnati's "Sauce" Gardner and Washington's Trent McDuffie may go before him because they have better recent track records of health.

Potential fit in Washington: As with all corners, it's vital for the Commanders to figure out how Stingley Jr. would work in their defensive system. William Jackson III, for example, has plenty of tools on the outside but struggled last year for Washington as he adjusted from playing mostly man with the Bengals to splitting time between man and zone with his new franchise.

Some scouting reports tout Stingley Jr. as a better man defender than a zone one, but those same reports acknowledge that his ultra-packed skill set means he should be able to handle all kinds of assignments. Regardless, Rivera and Jack Del Rio better be sure that they can get the most out of him before spending such high capital on him.

Now, while corner may not appear to be as much of a need as, say, receiver, safety or linebacker, the club is 12 months away from it possibly being a huge hole. Jackson III and Kendall Fuller are presently entrenched as starters but are nearing off ramps in their respective contracts. Therefore, Stingley Jr. could work in with them in 2022 and maybe succeed one of them after that.

Random and probably ultimately useless fact that's being included in this story anyway: Per Dane Brugler of The Athletic, Stingley Jr. gave up one reception as a junior in high school and zero receptions as a senior in high school. Whomever made the lone grab against Stingley Jr. in that stretch back then deserves to have a 10-part documentary series made about him and his improbable feat. 

Previous profiles: WR Treylon Burks | CB Trent McDuffie | S Kyle Hamilton | LB Devin Lloyd | WR Garrett Wilson | WR Drake London