Prominent Draft Brains Still Convinced Vikings in Play for Top CB Prospect

Prominent Draft Brains Still Convinced Vikings in Play for Top CB Prospect
Derek Stingley

Derek Stingley Jr. is recovering quickly from a Lisfranc injury — usually a spooky one for football players — and authored a wonderful Pro Day on Thursday.

Accordingly, per draft pundits, his draft stock is rising akin to his cornerback counterpart in the 2022 draft, Ahmad Garnder. A Cincinnati Bearcat, Gardner, is probably out of reach for Minnesota in the draft, choosing at the 12th spot on April 28th.

Stingley, though, is more debatable. His injury history keeps in play for the Vikings, a franchise needing to secure a cornerback for the future alongside Cameron Dantzler after Patrick Peterson eventually leaves the team.

Derek Stingley Jr breaks up a pass Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. LSU Vs Central Michigan V1 7424

While Vikings fans wait anxiously for draft night to determine if Stingley falls to #12, prominent draft pundits remain convinced the LSU alumnus will be available for the other purple and gold team. ESPN’s Todd McShay posted his latest mock draft on Tuesday, uniting Stingley with the Vikings. Before that, in McShay’s previous mock drafts, he theorized Garnder and Jordan Davis to Minnesota. This time, it was Stingley, and McShay opined:

The Vikings still have a need at cornerback despite signing Patrick Peterson (who will turn 32 this summer), and there is no denying what Stingley is capable of doing on the field if he puts it all together. Stingley can wear a lot of different hats on defense, shows great instincts and has the ball skills and speed to lock down receivers. And the Vikings can let Peterson — a fellow LSU alum — help Stingley adjust to the pro game.

Todd McShay | ESPN

Then on Thursday,’s Peter Schrager followed suit in a mock of his own, sending Stingley to the Vikings:

Stingley recently received a clean bill of health and that’s huge. Before the injury, he was widely viewed as a sure-thing top-10 pick. Having dominated at LSU his freshman season, he had the luxury of squaring off against Justin Jefferson (a future teammate?) and Ja’Marr Chase in practice, where he more than held his own. Who better to groom him than former LSU star and possible Pro Football Hall of Famer Patrick Peterson?

Peter Schrager |

Both men referencing Patrick Peterson tell the reader everything necessary about the logic of the pick. Peterson endorsed Stingley last week for the Vikings pick, and Minnesota has a treasured history of choosing Tigers in the draft — from Justin Jefferson, Danielle Hunter, Henry Thomas, to Roy Winston.

LSU defensive back Derek Stingley Jr. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.] Sec Media Days Ed Orgeron

The purple elephant in the room remains on Stingley’s pre-draft hype, however. Conclusively, some draft pundits believe he’ll be there for the Vikings. But for that to occur, quarterbacks and wide receivers must go off the board before the 12th pick to “free up” the plunge for Stingley. Thankfully, because the NFL is continually quarterback-driven, teams like the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons might reach for Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett. It’s the nature of the beast right now, as the media relishes pitting quarterback-versus-quarterback on Sundays.

For onlookers of the Vikings who want Stingley as the team’s selection, that’s the only path — “reaches” by teams in the Top 11 or over-emphasis on offensive positions like QB or WR.

Because, based on talent, Stingley should not tumble all the way to the 12th spot.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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