Derek Stingley Jr. can't wait to begin his NFL career in Houston.
The Houston Texans selected the LSU defensive back with the No. 3 overall draft pick, their first of two picks on Thursday night. Stingley (6-0, 190) set career highs as a true freshman during LSU's 15-0 national championship run, recording 38 tackles, six interceptions and 15 pass breakups in 15 starts in 2019. Stingley met with the Texans during the pre-draft process and is excited to get to play for the defensive-minded Lovie Smith.
"That's probably the perfect situation for a corner, when the higher up knows how it is out there in the secondary especially on defense," Stingley said. "I'm excited and whenever I was out there, he (Smith) was excited too. You could just see during the conversation that we had that he was really excited and ready to get to work."
Stingley started all 25 games he appeared in, twice earning First-Team All-America honors in 2019 and 2020 and earning unanimous SEC Newcomer of the Year by the Associated Press. While he played in just three games before undergoing surgery for a season-ending foot injury, Stingley demonstrated he was 100 percent healthy at his April 6 Pro Day, running a 4.37 40-yard dash and putting up a 38.5-inch vertical jump.
"I would say with the first pick, there was definitely a consensus," General Manager Nick Caserio said. "Organizationally, coaching staff, scouting staff-I'd say we put as much time & effort into Derek as any player. I'd say our scouts did a phenomenal job to continue to research to make sure we were comfortable. Had a great visit with Derek. He's been a productive player, had some bumps in the road there in '20 & '21 but in the end we felt comfortable. He fits the profile of what we are trying to do defensively & how we are building the program-so that's the rationale behind the pick there."
Stingley finished his career with 73 tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss, 6 interceptions and 21 passes defended, opting for the NFL Draft following the 2021 season, forgoing his final season of eligibility with the Tigers.
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With the third pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, we select DB Derek Stingley Jr. from LSU.