• Brian L. Barefield

Texans Select Derek Stingley Jr. Third Overall In 2022 NFL Draft

Photo Credit-Houston Texans

As the Houston Texans fans were in the midst of mixing and mingling with each other at the draft party at Miller Outdoor Theater, they were naming different options for the team who had the 3rd and 13th overall selections in the 2022 NFL Draft.

The last time the Texans had a draft pick in the first round was 2019, so it was safe to say that many fans were eager to see who second-year general manager Nick Caserio would pick with those selections.

The only request the majority of the fans had for Caserio was to make intelligent picks and not blow the opportunity on talent that some may perceive as a "bust."

Good news, Texans fans. He passed the first-round test with flying colors.

The Texans selected cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. out of LSU with the third overall pick. He will help bolster a group that had issues last season preventing big plays giving up passes of over 25-yards to opponents 35 times last season, 12 of those went for 40-plus yards.

Stingley was an intricate part of the LSU National Championship run in 2019. He started all 15 games and put up impressive numbers with 21 passes defended and six interceptions as a freshman.

Photo Credit-Houston Texans

Many draft experts projected he would hear his name in the first round of the draft as soon as he was eligible. Those praises turned to criticism over the next two seasons as his production dropped due to injuries and some uninspired play. A season-ending Lisfranc injury caused the 6-foot, 190-pound defensive back to miss most of the 2021 season and had teams questioning whether he was worth the risk.

The Texans did not see any red flags with Stingley, who ran a 4.37 40-yard dash at his LSU pro day.

"I would say there was definitely a consensus," said Nick Caserio about selecting Stingley with the third overall pick. "I would say organizationally, coaching staff, scouting staff, we put as much time and effort into Derek probably as any player. Our area scouts and our over-the-top scouts did a phenomenal job of continuing to delve into research and to make sure that we were comfortable with everything."

"We visited Derek and had a great visit with the coaching staff. Had a great visit with everybody in the building. He has been a productive player. He was a productive player early on in his career. He had some bumps in the road there in '20 and '21, but in the end, we felt comfortable with Derek. We think he is a good player. Kind of fits the profile of what we're trying to do. I would say defensively and kind of how we're building the program, so that was the rationale behind the pick there."

New head coach Lovie Smith has spoken on numerous occasions since being promoted on how the Texans' attitude and demeanor would not reflect anything from the team's 4-13 record last season. That statement alone sold Stingley on the fact that the team was committed to winning.

"It was a good vibe," Stingley said in his press conference with the media. "You could tell that things are going to be different from the past. Everything is trending upward."

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