The Houston Texans had other ideas.
The Texans are in the process of a long rebuild, and LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. is going to be a big part of that. The Texans took Stingley with the third overall pick on Thursday in Las Vegas.
Stingley wasn't considered to be a top-three prospect during the months leading up to the draft until the few days before the draft. There was a lot of buzz that Stingley, who had a phenomenal freshman season for the national champion Tigers before injuries held him back the past two seasons, was in play for the third overall pick. Houston made that happen.
Stingley's talent isn't in question. There is injury concern after an ankle injury in 2020 cost him time and a Lisfranc foot injury cut his 2021 season short. Assuming none of those injuries linger, the Texans are getting a potentially elite cornerback.
The Texans could have gone in a few directions. Offensive tackle is a need and there are a few elite prospects in this class. Edge rusher is another need and they could have taken Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux over Stingley. The Texans also could have taken Gardner over Stingley. But the Texans were enamored with Stingley's talent.
The Texans need impact players. They hope to see the freshman version of Stingley, who looked like a surefire future NFL star.