Derek Stingley may not have been out on the practice field much during the Houston Texans’ offseason workouts, but his impact upon the secondary was nevertheless felt.
Inside the facilities at NRG Stadium, the No. 3 overall cornerback was picking the minds of veteran defensive backs to get a better understanding of how the Tampa 2 scheme worked.
“Great ball skills, athletic, smart, and willing to learn, asks a bunch of questions,” safety Jonathan Owens told reporters on June 14 after mandatory minicamp at Houston Methodist Training Center. “That’s really a thing where you’re a new guy, you’re always going to be a sponge, anything anybody tells you.”
Stingley displayed immense promise in his freshman season with LSU, generating 38 combined tackles, 1.0 tackle for loss, six interceptions, 21 pass breakups, and a fumble recovery through 15 games. The 6-1, 195-pound cornerback played no more than 10 games over the next two seasons as the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020 and a Lisfranc injury in his foot in 2021, but Stingley’s potential made him one of the more fascinating defensive back prospects in the 2022 NFL draft.
Owens, who is entering his fifth season with the Texans, is using his past experiences to help young defensive backs flourish immediately.
“I’m relaying my past experiences to them, letting them know, okay, this is what you did, this is probably what you could do better, this is what somebody taught me,” said Owens. “I’m excited.”
Coach Lovie Smith expects Stingley to be a full go for training camp. Across the NFL — save for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Los Angeles Rams, Las Vegas Raiders, and Jacksonville Jaguars — veterans can report no earlier than July 26, although the Texans have yet to announce official dates for training camp.