Houston Texans Draft Star CB Derek Stingley Jr.

HOUSTON — As the Houston Texans discussed what they’d do with the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, general manager Nick Caserio said there was “definitely a consensus organizationally” of using that pick on cornerback Derek Stingley Jr.

Caserio joked that “all coaches lobby for their respective positions,” but new coach and former defensive coordinator Lovie Smith had to be thrilled to add a shutdown corner to his defense.

Caserio said Stingley “fits the profile of what we’re trying to do defensively” and how the Texans are “building the program.”

“He’s been a productive player,” Caserio said. “Was a productive player early on in his career. Had some bumps in the road there in ‘20 and ‘21, but in the end, we felt comfortable with Derek. We think he’s a good player.”

The Texans started the day with the 13th pick. However, they traded back with Philadelphia EaglesThe 15th, 124th 166th and 166th overall picks. Houston received the second-round pick offensive guard Kenyon GreenTo help a running team that finished last season in the second half.

As for Stingley, he is joining a secondary that allowed the second-most yards per game last season and was ranked 29th in yards per pass attempt allowed on defense, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Houston was particularly weak at the cornerback position, which is where Houston moved. Desmond King IIMoving out of the slot during a season Lonnie Johnson Jr. Back to safety cornerback According to NFL Next Gen Stats the fourth-worst team in the league, the Texans cornerbacks allowed 8.3 yard per attempt. Houston also allowed 8.1 yards on passes that were not listed last season, which was the third most in the NFL.

Stingley is tied for the top pick on a cornerback during the common draft era (since 1967), and he is also the highest draft ever made by the Texans to a defensive back.

“Derek’s played at a high level really since he walked into the building at LSU,” Caserio said. “Runs well, plays with good technique, plays the ball well, he plays under control [and] plays with good anticipation.”

In 2015, the Texans drafted Kevin Johnson as the 16th overall draft pick. Johnson, who was retired before the 2021 season had only played four seasons in Houston and not more than 12 games in a single season for the Texans.

Stingley played only 10 games in the previous two seasons. In September 2021, he had to undergo season-ending surgery on his right foot. Stingley, however, had a great season in 2019 as part of LSU's 15-0 winning team to the national championship.

Since 2019, Stingley’s 35% completion percentage allowed is second only to Cincinnati’s Ahmad “Sauce” GardnerSports Info Solutions identifies 85 defenders that have 100 plays each as the targeted defender.

“Whenever I get there, I’ll show them that I work hard and I don’t give up until I figure something out,” Stingley said.

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