The 2022 NFL Draft is quickly approaching for the Minnesota Vikings and the 31 other teams in the league. The annual draft kicks off on April 28 in Las Vegas, with the seven-round selection process concluding on April 30. The Vikings currently have a total of eight picks in the draft, with the first selection taking place 12th overall, followed by one each in the second, third, and fifth rounds, three in the sixth round, and one in the seventh round. Minnesota has a few areas of need that could use addressing in the draft, notably on the defensive side of the ball in the secondary and at linebacker. Offensively, the team could also look to address continued issues on the offensive line and perhaps even add another play-making receiver. But if all falls into place LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. could be available for the Minnesota Vikings to select in the middle of the first round of this year’s draft.
Minnesota Vikings Should Draft Derek Stingley Jr. If He Is Available
If Derek Stingley Jr. is still on the board when the Vikings and new general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah are called upon to select a player, Minnesota should take him to help bolster Minnesota’s cornerback unit and secondary group.
Stingley Jr., as pointed out in our collection of draft prospect profiles, was a five-star prospect coming out of high school before he declared he would attend LSU as a top high school player in the country. At LSU is where Stingley Jr. really began to make a name for himself and impress not only people in the college game but scouts and NFL personnel at the next level. After an impressive freshman season followed by a solid sophomore campaign, the cornerback had his junior season cut short due to a foot injury. He later declared for the NFL draft and left behind LSU and a potential senior season.
In totality, Stingley Jr. wrapped up his three-year college career with 73 combined tackles, 56 solo tackles, seven tackles for loss, six interceptions and two forced fumbles in 25 career games. He also earned First Team All-America honors twice and is now one of the most talented cornerbacks in LSU history. Stingly Jr. became the top cornerback prospect this year and one of the best players available in the draft.
With the professional game now next for the talented cornerback, he remains one of the best players at his position going into the draft. Teams who will pick ahead of the Vikings (12th pick) do not necessarily need a cornerback to help their team immediately and likely have other positions of greater need that they might address first this year. That means the door will likely be open for Minnesota to select Stingley Jr., and the Vikings should do just that if that scenario presents itself.
Stingley Jr. would help the Vikings secondary with his strong football I.Q. and ability to be a lock-down defender in any scheme. He is just the type of player that Minnesota needs to add and develop so he can lead the secondary into the future, with his limitless potential. If Stingley Jr. is available when the Vikings pick at the 12th spot, Minnesota needs to select him to begin the process of beefing up the secondary.