CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson: Why Seahawks should draft CB Derek Stingley Jr.

Apr 26, 2022, 2:25 PM
Seahawks Derek Stingley Jr....
Derek Stingley Jr. of the LSU Tigers reacts against the UCLA Bruins in the first quarter. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

If the Seahawks get on the clock at pick No. 9 on Thursday and decide to make a selection , who will it be?

Seahawks Draft Primer: Everything you need to know about Seattle, top prospects

CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson didn’t tackle who he thinks the Seahawks will pick in his latest mock draft, but rather who he thinks Seattle and the other 31 NFL teams should pick in the first two rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Wilson’s picks for the Seahawks? LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. at No. 9 overall followed by Minnesota edge rusher Boye Mafe and North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell.

Wilson didn’t dive into his picks of Mafe and Howell, but he did share his thoughts on Stingley, who was an All-American in 2019 as a true freshman at LSU, when he joined Seattle Sports 710 AM’s Wyman and Bob Monday afternoon.

The big question mark with Stingley? Durability.

Stingley missed three games due to illness and an ankle injury in 2020 while earning first-team All-SEC honors. In 2021, though, Stingley only played three games due to a foot injury.

“It might be a little bit overblown,” Wilson told Wyman and Bob. “So here’s the timeline for Derek Stingley: He hurt his foot in August, played through the pain and then he had the Lisfranc (injury) … You’re in a boot for five months when you have that and when you recover from the Lisfranc there. He had been cleared for 3.5 weeks before he did his pro day where he ran the (40-yard dash) in 4.37 (seconds) and did all the crazy things he did. So I think the athleticism, the explosiveness and all that stuff that we saw in 2019 is still there.”

“The question is he only played three games last year,” Wilson added. “And in 2020 and 2021, that tape looks nothing like 2019 tape. So you hope you’re getting the 2019 guy and I think at some level that’s what you’re going to get.”

Stingley, a 5-star recruit who shined for LSU as a freshman, may now have a big chip on his shoulder, Wilson said.

“I think he probably right now at this point is hearing all the ‘Sauce’ Gardner conversations, all the questions about his durability and not playing and I’m sure that’s (causing) a chip on his shoulder and he wants to prove some people wrong,” Wilson said. “But he was pretty durable in 2019 and he was going up against NFL-caliber talent. Not just each Saturday, but every single day in practice with Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, Joe Burrow.”

How good does Wilson think Stingley can be?

“I think he has a chance to be a really good football player and he also offers something in the return game,” he said. “And he would help the Legion of Boom get back to what it once was … I think that’s a step in the right direction in bolstering that secondary.”

2023 QB class

The Seahawks are seen as a team who could be in the market for a quarterback in this year’s draft. But, this year’s crop of quarterback prospects isn’t as highly regarded as in previous years. Draft analysts, like Wilson, also are higher on the 2023 NFL Draft’s quarterback class than this year’s.

“Bryce Young is the obvious one (from) Alabama, C.J. Stroud at Ohio State, Will Levis out of Kentucky, Tanner McKee out of Stanford, there are going to be some guys,” Wilson said. “And I think that’s some of the calculus that these NFL teams are doing this year. They’re not trying to talk themselves into (this year’s) quarterbacks with the understanding that we’ll circle back next year and try to have a plan to get one of these guys that actually is probably worth a pick through 20 or 32 as opposed to trying to force us into taking a quarterback this year that maybe isn’t worth more than the 50th pick. We’ll see if (those teams) can stand pat on that once the draft actually rolls around … There’s still a lot left to be decided, but I think in general teams understand that the quarterback class in 2023 should have been improved and what we see now.”

Listen to the full discussion with Wilson at this link or in the player below.

Heaps: The players Seahawks must draft if available at No. 9

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