Eagles Should ‘Move Up and Get Him,’ Says NFL Draft Analyst

Getty Derek Stingley, LSU

The Philadelphia Eagles have been collecting young cornerbacks like Cabbage Patch Kids dating back last year. They have no less than five corners with promise crowding the depth chart: Josiah Scott, Tay Gowan, Kary Vincent, Mac McCain, Zech McPhearson.

But what the team lacks is a true No. 2 to pair opposite Darius Slay. The Eagles have reached out to Stephon Gilmore in free agency, but the All-Pro probably wants more money than what they offered. It looks as if Philadelphia will wait and address the position at next month’s draft. Trent McDuffie and Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner should be off the board when the Eagles make their first pick at No. 15.

Another player – Derek Stingley Jr., arguably the best cornerback in the pool – could be there for the taking. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. said a cornerback-needy team should be ready to pounce on Stingley Jr. in the middle of the first round, especially if the LSU product starts to fall.

“I thought after 2019 he’d be the No. 1 player on my board, but he didn’t do anything the last two years because of COVID and then the injury [Lisfranc],” Kiper said on a recent conference call. “Well, if Stingley Jr. drops somewhere where people are projecting him, in that 16-20 range, or 16-18 range, right in the middle of the first. If he gets to a point like that, I’m not going to let Stingley go somewhere else. I’m going to move up and get him. There’s no way he should be the 16th pick in this draft.”

The next best corner on the board would be Andrew Booth Jr. out of Clemson, followed closely by former Auburn standout Roger McCreary. But the drop-off from the top-3 is pretty considerable, according to Kiper.

“I’m a Stingley Jr. fan,” Kiper said. “I’m going to stick with the kid.”

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Eagles Probably Out on First-Round QB

NBC Sports’ Peter King dropped an interesting Eagles nugget when discussing where Malik Willis might go in the draft. He could see Philly trading one of their first-rounders to Pittsburgh so the Steelers could move up and take Willis at No. 15 or No. 16.

King wrote: “Big question: If Steeler GM Kevin Colbert calls, looking for a trad-eup for Malik Willis, would the Ravens do a deal? Philadelphia (15, 16 or 19). Ditto Baltimore. Ditto trade-happy Howie Roseman.”

That would give the Eagles more ammo (read: extra picks) to load up in the middle rounds of a very deep draft. Outside of cornerback, the team could use help at receiver, safety, linebacker, and edge rusher. Former Iowa center Tyler Lindenbaum is an interesting name to keep in mind if the Eagles trade down.

Scouting Report: Derek Stingley Jr.

Stingley Jr. has only played in 10 games over the last two seasons. He sat out due to COVID-19 concerns in 2020, then suffered a Lisfranc injury in 2021. The 6-foot, 190-pounder hasn’t recorded an interception in a live game since the SEC Championship Game on December 7, 2019 when he had two picks. Stingley Jr. sat out the NFL Scouting Combine as he continues to rehab.

Here’s the scouting report, via NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein: “Uniquely gifted cornerback with rare blend of size, speed and explosiveness that will have teams willing to judge his upside off of tape from two seasons ago.”

Bleacher Report called him a “fluid athlete” and praised his versatility: “He has the speed to run with receivers downfield and the recovery speed to make up for when out of position. He sinks his hips well to get in and out of breaks while showing a good burst to the reception point.”

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