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If artificial intelligence and algorithms are to be believed, then the Houston Texans’ selection of LSU cornerback Derek Stingley with the No. 3 overall pick in Round 1 of the 2022 NFL draft may not be so bad.
According to Pro Football Focus’ mock draft simulator, the selection of Stingley qualifies as an A-grade. Ryan Weisman fleshed out for PFF why the pick is efficacious for the Texans.
Almost any top-10 prospect could have gone here to fill any number of positions the Texans need. With positional need out of the picture, it came down to who was the best prospect. Derek Stingley Jr. is an extraordinary athlete at the cornerback position. He boasted a 91.7 PFF grade during his freshman year — the best in college football — only allowing 38.3% of completions while intercepting more passes than TDs allowed. Although his next two seasons were plagued with injuries contributing to lackluster production, the prospect of Stingley returning as an astonishing athlete with strong man-coverage skills is too much to pass up at third overall.
The drafting of Stingley follows a typical pattern in mock drafts wherein Aidan Hutchinson and Kayvon Thibodeaux are off the board, which gives Houston a choice to go with the LSU cornerback.
Cincinnati cornerback Ahmad Gardner goes No. 7 overall to the New York Giants. By the time the Texans select again at No. 13 overall, they have an opportunity to seize upon Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton and take it. PFF’s mock draft simulator gives it an A-plus grade, and Arjun Menon lauds the pick.
This is a spot where the Texans should be ecstatic to see Hamilton. While he may be one of the best players in the class, taking a safety in the top three (the Texans also have the third pick), isn’t financially smart long-term. However, getting Hamilton at pick 13 should be a no-brainer. The Texans have needs at almost every position, so they should be going best player available, which in this case is Hamilton.
With Stingley and Hamilton going in Round 1, it gives the Texans’ secondary dynamic pieces to be competitive.