BATON ROUGE, La. — Former LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. said he felt like he showed NFL teams that “nothing has changed over these past couple years” and “I’m still me, everything’s gonna be good” after an impressive pro day workout Wednesday.
Stingley, a potential top-10 NFL draft pick who underwent surgery to repair a Lisfranc injury in his left foot last September, posted times of 4.37 and 4.44 seconds in the 40-yard dash and a vertical leap of 38.5 inches, according to the school’s numbers. NFL teams in attendance recorded times between the mid-4.3s and low 4.4s on his first run, according to some scouts in attendance. Stingley also drew praise for how well he moved in position drills.
Stingley did not perform in any drills at last month’s NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. He said he was cleared to do full-speed work about three weeks ago and started to feel 100 percent over the past couple of days.
The 6-foot, 190-pounder said he knows “I can run faster than a 4.3” but overall felt good about his performance. He will begin visiting NFL teams over the next few weeks leading up to the draft. He estimated that he has nine visits lined up.
“I feel fine right now. It doesn’t even feel like I hurt it in the first place,” said Stingley, who explained that he originally suffered the Lisfranc injury on the first day of camp last summer before playing through it for three games and aggravating it to the point that it required surgery.
ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay described Stingley as a “tough evaluation” while projecting him to go to the Minnesota Vikings with the 12th pick in his latest mock draft. Stingley had a sensational season in 2019 as a freshman on LSU’s national championship team, earning second-team All-America honors with six interceptions and 21 passes defended. But then his production dropped off with zero interceptions during the COVID-19-affected 2020 season and his injury-marred 2021 campaign.
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. agreed that “there are going to be questions about his up-and-down play,” while ranking him ninth overall on his latest Big Board, but predicted that “NFL teams will see more good tape than bad and draft him based on his ceiling.”
Stingley said he isn’t worried about how teams will view his past two seasons because “they know what I am.”
When asked specifically about conversations he was seen having with Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley both before and after his workout Wednesday, Stingley said, “His whole reason he just told me for coming out here, he wanted to see if I still had the determination and like just the power to go out there and just perform. And when he seen it, he said that’s what he was waiting to see. And that’s what a lot of people were trying to see.”
Stingley said he isn’t focused on where he will go in the draft. But he wasn’t shy about sharing his lofty goal for his NFL career.
“I just want to be the greatest ever — like, ever,” Stingley said.