In almost all of the mock drafts we have seen so far this offseason, the majority have the Dallas Cowboys selecting either an offensive lineman (guard or tackle), linebacker, or edge rusher. However, the latest ESPN mock draft, written by Mike Tannenbaum, has the Cowboys going in a completely different direction. Tannenbaum has the Cowboys selecting CB Derek Stingley Jr. out of LSU in the first round. To be fair, Dallas has a lot of positional needs to fill. But it’s hard to argue that cornerback is a priority.
But it’s always fun to look at the multitude of options. So, let’s see how Stingley Jr. could fit in with the Dallas defense. For starters, the kid has confidence that rivals Micah Parsons. At the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Stingley Jr. told the media, “I know myself, and I know that when I’m at the best version of myself. I’m the greatest.” That’s quite the quote.
Stingley Jr. is amazing at what he does. He has a rare blend of size, athleticism, and speed for the cornerback position. The Tiger is great at tackling, has good hands, and has the versatility to also play in zone coverage. The problem surrounding this cornerback is his injury status. A player listed at No. 7 overall by Todd McShay is dealing with a Lisfranc injury. He suffered a torn ligament heading into Week 4 of LSU’s season and underwent surgery on September 26.
Stingley Jr. was unable to participate at the NFL Combine but told reporters that he is on track to be 100% by LSU’s Pro Day which takes place on April 6. The Tiger said that NFL teams he’s spoken to seem to have no concern about his abilities.
ESPN’s latest mock draft has the Cowboys selecting LSU CB Derek Stingley Jr. with the 24th overall pick
Here is what Tannenbaum had to say:
"“Imagine Trevon Diggs and Stingley covering up opposing receivers. There is incredible potential there. Stingley is an intriguing yet confusing prospect. At his best, he’s one of the top three or four players in the entire class. But his injury history and uneven play create a lot of risk. But at No. 24 overall, Dallas could get a steal if he plays anywhere near his ceiling.”"
It’s true that Diggs and Stingley would make quite the pair. Right now, Anthony Brown is the one lined up with Diggs. While Brown had highlight moments in 2021, he also got burned often and had some issues.
It feels like the only reason the Cowboys would take Stingley Jr. is if they truly see him as a steal and he is still available. The Joneses know OL and DL are a priority, but if they have a top talent dropping to 24th overall, will they throw the plan out the window? Yes, he’s injured. But even with the injury, the bulk of mock drafts don’t have Stingley Jr. falling this far. It will be interesting to see where this LSU Tiger ends up. He certainly has the size and ability to be a starting cornerback in the NFL in 2022.