Dino Vasso was amped up after Houston chose Derek Stingley, Jr. in the first round.
The cornerbacks coach was thrilled the Texans chose the LSU defensive back in the first round this April.
Much was made over the hug Lovie Smith and Nick Caserio shared on the second night of the 2022 NFL Draft. The Texans Head Coach and General Manager embraced after the team picked Alabama linebacker Christian Harris in the third round.
But Vasso was just as pumped…the night before…when the Texans used the third overall pick to select Stingley.
"I was excited," Vasso said. "Obviously, that's what I wanted. I'm a little biased there. I didn't have any intel on 'that's what we're going to do'. Excited that we did make that choice and I get to work with him."
In his first year as a Texans assistant, Vasso was pleased with the play of young veterans like Desmond King, Tavierre Thomas and Tremon Smith. Vasso's looking forward to more time with them in the second year of this defensive system. Veteran Steven Nelson signed with the team in free agency.
Vasso's also happy to add Stingley to that mix.
"He just doesn't really have a glaring weakness in his game," Vasso said. "He's big. He's strong. He can run. He's explosive. He has good feet. He can track the football. Those are all things that you're looking for in a corner."
While Vasso ticked off several of the attractive physical attributes of Stingley, the coach was also quick to point to the mental side of the game. He's been impressed by the rookies smarts, and inquisitiveness.
"He's an extremely conscientious player,' Vasso said. "His football mind is constantly working. He wants to know why you do things and not just what you're doing. So I can appreciate that as a teacher and a coach."
While Stingley's made a good impression on his position coach, he's also done the same with teammates who've been in the NFL awhile. Stingley was limited during May and June due to injury. But Nelson, entering his eighth season in the league, praised the rookie early on in Organized Team Activities (OTAs).
"Great guy," Nelson said. "Very talented, hence why he got drafted where he got drafted. He's going to do some great things here whenever he gets rolling."
Stingley wasn't able to line up across from wide receiver Brandin Cooks. But Cooks has high expectations of the rookie.
"Sting, what he's done in college was awesome," Cooks said. "I look forward for him to be able to come in and do that here as well."
Texans training camp begins in late July at the Houston Methodist Training Center.