Draft

Did Derek Stingley Jr.'s pro day put him back on the NY Jets radar?

NY Jets, Derek Stingley, Jr.
NY Jets, Derek Stingley, Jr. / Don Juan Moore/GettyImages
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The most polarizing prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft just completed his set of scheduled workouts in the LSU football facilities — and the results couldn't have looked better.

Derek Stingley Jr.'s talent is out of the question, but there have been concerns regarding his current shape and performing levels after a disappointing 2021 season with the Tigers compared to his otherworldly 2019 campaign as a freshman.

After only playing three games this past season and undergoing Lisfranc surgery a few months ago, thus missing all of the NFL Combine drills, all Stingley could do was rise on big boards with a solid pro day.

And of course, he went on to exceed expectations with a masterful performance in front of all 32 NFL franchises on Wednesday's pro day at LSU.

Derek Stingley Jr. may have caught the NY Jets' eye at his pro day

Stingley's workout on his home turf ended with the cornerback recording a 4.37 seconds 40-yard dash time (Sauce Gardner clocked in at 4.41) and getting a 38.5" vertical jump mark to go with a 10'2" figure on the broad jump.

He completed the short shuttle in 4.13 seconds and had a 6.96 clocked time in the 3-cone drill too. It must be considered that Stingley might be a little undersized (51st percentile in height, 36th in weight), so he excelled where it was expected (speed) and put up respectable numbers in the more physical categories.

Stingley's stock has moved wildly since the start of January, more on the merit of others than his own fault— keep in mind, the cornerback has not played since Sep. 19.

This idle time has allowed another extraordinary CB, Ahmad 'Sauce' Gardner from Cincinnati, to overtake Stingley in the consensus opinion around NFL prospects, let alone the top defensive backs in the 2022 class.

While Stingley was in possession of a top-four pick stock just this past January, the views on his actual worthiness dropped through the past three months moving him to a top-six player through February and into the top-eight to top-10 range over the past few weeks.

Of course, predicting what will happen at the NFL Draft is much more than just following a consensus big board. Team needs play a massive role in how prospects are seen and where they ultimately land.

That's why Stingley and Gardner, though both top-10 prospects on a pure talent and ability basis, might be available at and/or past the NY Jets' 10th overall pick.

Just yesterday, PFF's Ari Meirov discussed Stingley's upside with ESPN's Matt Miller with the latter setting Stingley's range from the fourth to the 15th pick.

We're only three weeks from the draft, but that is still way too early to make any sort of solid prediction and assumption.

There will be rises and falls (just ask Jets' target Kayvon Thibodeaux, who dropped to the 10th spot in USA Today's latest mock draft after being considered a lock for the top-2 last January).

If there was any doubt lingering regarding Stingley's current shape and health, well, he did more than enough to clear those question marks from the picture with a great workout on Wednesday.

Next. NY Jets trade down, fix defense in 7-round 2022 NFL Mock Draft. dark

It's now up to the NFL franchise to assess the potential risk of drafting a once generational-looking cornerback vs. getting a nationally recognized bust if things don't pan out for him at the professional level.

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