Coaching Connection Gives Vikings Insider Knowledge on Draft’s Top CB

Sep 18, 2021; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. (7) reacts after making a tackle against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Clause/The Advertiser via USA TODAY NETWORK

Unless something dramatic happens, the Vikings will need to choose a corner early in the draft. Pulling off a trade would change the water on the purple beans, but that option still exists in the Land of Optimism rather than reality. This is where Derek Stingley Jr. factors into the equation.

Folks who have been following the draft hype know that Stingley is highly regarded. Take a peak at what The Draft Network have to say:

Derek Stingley Jr. is a former 5-star recruit who was ranked as the No. 1 player in the 2019 recruiting class. Stingley Jr. splashed onto the scene, starting as a true freshman for the 2019 National Champion LSU Tigers. Stingley Jr. was an impact player for the Tigers, leading the team with six interceptions and also showing his physicality by accounting for more than 30 tackles. Stingley Jr.’s 2020 and 2021 seasons have been inconsistent at best due to a bevy of coaching changes and missing games due to injuries. Stingley Jr. has elite speed and fluid hips that allow him to match wide receivers step for step in and out of breaks while also possessing a rare instinctual ability to intercept passes thrown his way. Stingley Jr.’s elite athleticism and rare ball skills make him a generational talent at cornerback. 

The injuries, of course, are reason for concern. It’s hard to shutdown the opposition’s WR1 from the sidelines. Even still, the upside is huge. Plus, the Vikings have a very notable connection.

Daronte Jones returned to the Vikings’ coaching staff this offseason. Previously, he worked as the DB coach for Mike Zimmer. More recently, he was the DB coach and DC for LSU, the university where Derek Stingley Jr. played. If anyone knows this year’s highly-ranked corner, it’s Daronte Jones.

Minnesota will thus be working with insider information. They’ll know about his strengths and weaknesses in a way that most other teams simply can’t through just scouting and grinding game film.

Great teams find a way to marry need and value in the draft. At 12th overall, the Vikings will be in a position to do so. Perhaps it will be with an edger rusher who falls, or maybe they even opt for Tyler Linderbaum to take over at center. Corner, though, has to be the team’s greatest need. Derek Stingley Jr. could therefore be the ideal pick for our friends in purple.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on Purple PTSD.

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