The New York Jets will have plenty of top prospects to choose from with the 4th and 10th overall picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. However, one of the best players available this year is reportedly the source of some concerns in New York.
There are plenty of Jets draft needs that need to be addressed, with holes throughout the defense and offense. One of the most pressing needs is cornerback and it’s a deep position with three corners among the top 2022 NFL Draft prospects.
It’s not a draft class filled with elite talent, but there are a few standouts on the defensive side. Unfortunately, one of those players also carries some red flags that the Jets and other NFL teams are concerned about.
Related: 2022 New York Jets mock draft
According to NBC Sports’ Peter King, the Jets are among the NFL teams ‘leery’ of LSU Tigers cornerback Derek Stingley.
There are very few questions about Stingley’s talent. He’s the same player who drew rave reviews at LSU during his freshman season for matching up well with Ja’Marr Chase in practice. He rated as the No. 3 overall player in 247 Sports’ 2019 recruiting rankings, a five-star talent with the makings of an NFL star.
However, there are a few reasons why NFL teams might be hesitant to spend a top-10 pick on Stingley.
Related: Latest NFL Draft rumors
Why NFL teams might be hesitant to draft Derek Stingley
Coming out of his freshman season, many viewed Derek Stingley as a future top-five pick when he first became draft-eligible. He was one of the best cornerbacks in college football at a young age, recording six interceptions as a freshman, flashing the tools to be a star at the position.
Things unraveled for Stingley over the next two years. He was briefly hospitalized with a non-COVID illness in 2020 and it took some time for him to return to the field. He played seven games in 2020, but he didn’t look like the same player.
He returned in 2021 with many expecting a rebound. Instead, Lisfranc issues limited him to just three games and he didn’t make a full recovery until April.
NFL teams, like the Jets, are now put in a position where they have to try and guess which version of Stingley they will be drafting. However, the talent and tools to be an outstanding cornerback at the next level are still there.
“He’s got the best feet of any corner I’ve ever seen,”NFL evaluator on Derek Stingley, via Peter King
Things could change after the LSU Pro Day on Wednesday. Stingley received clearance to participate in all drills and a strong performance could push his draft stock up.
The New York Jets could ultimately place it safe by drafting Sauce Gardner, the top cornerback on our NFL Draft board Another possibility, snagging an edge rusher with the 4th pick and hoping Stingley falls to 10th overall.