Houston Texans 2022 NFL draft target: LSU CB Derek Stingley

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The Houston Texans are projected to finish with a top-5 overall pick when the 2021 season is all said and done.

If the Texans are taking a cornerback that high in the 2022 NFL draft, it would have to mean Davis Mills has firm command of the starting quarterback job, and the club is pleased with the edge defenders under contract. Otherwise, going with a cornerback with such a highly valued pick would be inadvisable.

Should the Texans be in a position to take a cornerback, LSU’s Derek Stingley needs to be on their radar.

According to Anthony Treash of Pro Football Focus, Stingley is the second-best player in college football ahead of the fall campaign.

Stingley might be the best athlete to take the field this fall. He’s such a rare one that even Coach O is thinking about giving him some reps on offense. Coming out of high school in 2019, the five-star cornerback clocked a 4.3-second 40 time and a 42-inch vertical. He then proceeded to have the best true freshman season since PFF College’s inception back in 2014, recording a 91.7 PFF grade and 0.97 wins above average (WAA), the latter being the best mark among non-quarterbacks all year.

Stingley provided the Tigers with 27 combined tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, five pass breakups, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery through seven games in 2020. Opposing quarterbacks avoided throwing his way as his 2019 season included six interceptions and 15 pass breakups through 15 games.

The Texans will still have Bradley Roby under contract, although he will be in the final year of his three-year deal signed in the 2020 offseason. Roby will also be 30 years old by the time Week 1 of the 2022 season kicks off.

In order to take Stingley, the Texans would need to ensure they were complete at quarterback and edge defender before taking care of the secondary.