Cardinals Linked to ‘Polarizing Figure’ Prospect With 4.37 Speed

Derek Stingley Jr.

Getty Images Derek Stingley Jr. intercepts a pass in 2019.

The Arizona Cardinals have shown an interest in cornerback draft prospects heading into the NFL draft on April 28.

First, NFL insider Jordan Schultz reported on April 3 that the Cardinals, including the Bills, Saints, Ravens and Eagles, are “all in” on Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie. It just so happens that the Cardinals have Washington alumni throughout their defense. All-Pro safety Budda Baker, cornerback Byron Murphy and linebacker Zeke Turner all have ties to Washington.

There’s a new report of the Cardinals showing interest in another cornerback, whose abilities and health have more questions than answers.

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Cardinals Workout CB

Every NFL team was on hand for LSU’s pro day on April 6.

The Cardinals were just one of nine teams whose defensive back coaches worked out cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., according to the Senior Bowl’s executive director Jim Nagy.

In Stingley’s rookie season in 2019, he posted six interceptions, 15 pass deflections and 38 total tackles in 15 games. The youngster turned heads at the age of 18 and was considered one of the best up-and-coming draft prospects.

Unfortunately, Stingley missed three games due to injury and illness in 2020 and played just three games in 2021 before being hit with a season-ending Lisfranc injury. Stingley would record just five passes defended and zero interceptions during his sophomore and junior seasons (10 games).

Finally, after two chaotic seasons, Stingley appears healthy.

NFL Insider Ian Rapoport tweeted on April 4 that Stingley has “recovered fully from his Lisfranc injury” and would participate in all drills at his Pro Day on April 6.

That day has come.

On the other hand, ESPN NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper has named Stingley as a “polarizing figure in this draft” and prefers Cincinnati prospect Ahmad Gardner more.

“You come back with (Ahmad) Sauce Gardner over Derek Stingley Jr, who hasn’t done much since 2019, when he was great,” Kiper said. “He’s going to be I think the most polarizing figure in this draft in terms of the toughest, the most mysterious I guess to a certain extent is Derek Stingley Jr. How the heck do you come to a conclusion on Stingley Jr. when in 2019, he was great. 2020, 2021 didn’t go the way you would have hoped.”

Still, Stingley ranks ninth on Kiper’s big board which was posted on April 3.


Stingley’s Pro Day Results Are In

Of course, everyone should know to take Pro Day results with a grain of salt.

However, it was important to see how Stingley would move and react after being out for quite some time due to injury.

Stingley ran an unofficial 4.37 40-yard dash at his pro day. He also completed a 38 ½ inch vertical jump and his broad jump was 10’2”, per PFF’s Ari Meirov.

Despite Stingley’s recent lackluster seasons, there will be interest in the 20-year-old’s services. And the Cardinals could have trouble drafting Stingley with the 23rd overall pick. The other eight teams that worked out Stingley pick before the Cards (Lions, Jets, Giants, Falcons, Seahawks, Steelers, Chargers, Eagles).

The Cardinals could definitely add another cornerback in the draft. Byron Murphy, Marco Wilson and Jeff Gladney headline the group, but the rest of the room includes Breon Borders, Jace Whittaker and Nate Brooks.

Similar to McDuffie, the Cardinals will likely need to trade up for Stingley. And the Cardinals are letting the world know of their interest in defensive backs.

But the Cardinals signed former first-round CB Gladney to a two-year deal.

With other crucial holes on the roster, it’s hard to see the Cardinals trade draft capital for a position they’ve already spent money in the offseason.

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