NY Jets are unlikely to target Derek Stingley Jr. in the draft

NY Jets, Derek Stingley Jr.
NY Jets, Derek Stingley Jr. / The Advertiser-USA TODAY NETWORK

The NY Jets could be looking to upgrade their secondary in the 2022 NFL Draft, but one prospect they're expected to steer clear of is LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr.

NBC Sports' Peter King reported on Monday that the Jets are "leery" of Stingley and that they prefer Cincinnati's Ahmad 'Sauce' Gardner if they were to draft a cornerback.

King noted that the Jets were far from the only team that feels this way after what he described as a "super-weird career in the SEC." That's certainly one way to put it.

Just a few years ago, Stingley looked like a future top-three pick before injuries and inconsistent play dropped his stock. The Jets are understandably hesitant to bank on the 2019 version of Stingley showing up again.

Don't expect the NY Jets to draft Derek Stingley Jr.

Few players in this draft class possess the natural talent that Stingley does. A former five-star recruit, Stingley lived up to his pre-LSU hype and then some putting together one of the best true freshman seasons in recent memory.

The Louisiana native led the SEC with six interceptions and 15 passes defended, was a first-team All-SEC selection, and received Consensus All-American honors en route to leading his school to a National Championship.

He had already established himself as one of the best overall players in all of college football at just 18-years-old. The sky seemed like the limit. Unfortunately, that would prove to be the peak of his college career.

Stingley would go on to play just 10 games over the next two years as injuries began to pile up. A Lisfranc injury in his left foot sidelined him for much of the 2021 season, and even when he was healthy, he wasn't nearly as dominant as his freshman year.

That's not to say he was bad, but Stingley's 2020 and 2021 tape is definitely a step below his 2019 tape. Combine that with the persistent injuries and it isn't hard to see why the Jets and others are wary.

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Stingley might just be the biggest boom-or-bust prospect in this entire class. Some team will take a chance on his talent in the hopes that he could stay healthy and return to his 2019 form.

Don't expect that team to be the Jets, though.