Los Angeles Chargers: Don’t Rule Out Derek Stingley Jr. In Round 1

2022 NFL Mock Draft, Derek Stingley. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
2022 NFL Mock Draft, Derek Stingley. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Chargers need help on the right side of the offensive line and at wide receiver, but don’t rule out Derek Stingley Jr. donning the blue and yellow.

We are just a few weeks away from the 2022 NFL Draft, and with the pro day circuit ending, a big name was circled for Wednesday. LSU had their pro day, and Derek Stingley Jr. was set to run and do drills, finally getting back out after suffering a Lisfranc injury in the fall of 2021.

Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley was in attendance along with a ton of NFL teams to look at Stingley, who had a monstrous freshman season (six INTs, 15 passes defensed) but saw things cool off in 2020 in 2021, some of which was due to injury.

Stingley impressed overall, running in the low 4.4s and high 4.3s in the 40, as times were a bit all over the place as they often are. But, he did what he needed to do post-injury, and his day will likely vault him back up a bit in what is a draft world full of volatility and take swings.

It seems wild to ask the question, but could Stingley be in play for the Los Angeles Chargers in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft?

I don’t think it can be ruled out. Yes, the Chargers gave their secondary a major boost with the signing of J.C. Jackson, who was dominant for the Patriots as a man-cover corner. Michael Davis is also in the room, as is 2021 second round pick Asante Samuel Jr. It looks very good with those three, but depth can always be added.

A first-round pick at the position would certainly be shocking though. However, Staley has talked about not having enough corners. It’s even more important because of the division, conference, and even age of the sport we’re in. The passing game continues to be explosive, creative, and diverse, and it’s not slowing down.

Even after losing Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs will still be a threat. The Broncos are loaded with talent at receiver, and finally have a quarterback to guide their way. Vegas just added Davante Adams. The Bills aren’t going anywhere either, nor are the Bengals. The Ravens will be back, and who knows with Miami, Jacksonville, and New York with their young quarterbacks?

The AFC is a gauntlet, and having enough defensive backs and cover guys, even in a defense that primarily sits back in two-high and quarters, isn’t a thing. Matching explosive receivers, ball winners, and elite separators will continue to be crucial.

Now, what will it take for the Chargers to get Stingley? It will probably take a move up, one that could end up costing a second-rounder next year or their third round pick this year. The Jets are the prime target at 10 for a move up, as is Seattle if neither like what’s on the board. Jumping the likes of Washington, Minnesota, Houston, and Philadelphia might be what it takes.

So will it happen? It’s not the outcome with the highest probability. The Los Angeles Chargers have other needs, from right tackle to more explosiveness in the passing game. But, because of the era we sit in, it’s something that can’t be ruled out, especially with the talent and ceiling Stingley provides.