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2022 NFL mock draft: Washington Commanders select Derek Stingley Jr.

The Washington Commanders add a defensive stud to help turn around a team that took a slide on that side of the ball.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 04 LSU at UCLA Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We’ve moved past the top 10 in the Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft, and we’ve reached perhaps my favorite unintentional pairing between team and temporary general manager. The Washington Commanders, a franchise wrought with controversy, name changes, and an owner who seems to live life on the edge of getting booted from his position, will be represented by POD commenter... anhonestmess.

Last year, the team formerly known as the Washington Football Team, finished the season 7-10, good for third in the pretty awful NFC East. They’re one of the few teams who could challenge the Lions for the worst defense in the league, and their offense wasn’t much better, either.

In other words, there are a lot of different directions they could go with this pick. But before we get into anhonestmess’ pick, here’s a look at the player who has come off the board so far in the draft:

POD Community Mock Draft picks so far:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
  2. Detroit Lions: Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
  3. Houston Texans: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
  4. New York Jets: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
  5. New York Giants: Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
  6. Carolina Panthers: Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
  7. New York Giants: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
  8. Atlanta Falcons: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
  9. Seattle Seahawks: Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
  10. New York Jets: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State

With the 11th pick in the POD Community Mock, the Washington Commanders select Derek Stingley Jr., cornerback out of LSU.

Here’s anhonestmess with the explanation:

In January 2020, Derek Stingley Jr. was a national champion and a member of maybe the greatest NCAA football team of all time. Like many of his teammates, he seemed destined to be a future NFL star. Two mostly lost seasons on his part (and LSU’s) have dropped his draft stock, but if it weren’t for injury questions, there’s no doubt that Stingley would be a top-five pick in the 2022 draft. With his foot completely cleared, his slight fall is the Washington Commanders’ gain.

With prototypical size, elite athleticism, and above average wingspan and hands, Stingley Jr. projects to be a mosquito in elite wide receivers’ lives. He can be the shutdown corner that defensive coordinators dream about, and combined with the Commanders’ talent along the defensive line, he could be the secret to their return to a top-10 pass defense (according to DVOA, they dropped from 2nd to 28th between 2020 and 2021). With Kendall Fuller and William Jackson III under contract, cornerback might not seem like a need, but superstar talent always is. If necessary, it won’t be too expensive to move on from Fuller in 2023.

Building around Carson Wentz seems like a fool’s errand at this point in his career. If Washington truly hopes to get back to the playoffs, an elite defense will be the Commanders’ path. Last year, their defense faltered in part because they asked William Jackson III to transition to a more zone-heavy scheme. Adding Stingley will allow them to shift to more man-heavy coverage and play both in their more natural style. At worst, having three plus cornerbacks on the field the majority of the time might help reduce the interception gap that trading for Wentz is likely to cause

Erik’s thoughts:

You can never have too many corners, and while I have Stingley as CB2 on my Lions’ draft board, I’m not so sure he would be CB2 for Washington. If I was projecting a corner for Washington, I would probably lean towards the University of Washington’s Trent McDuffie. I think would stylistically he would be a solid fit and has the capability of playing outside and in the slot, which would allow the Commanders to get all three corners on the field at the same time.

While building around Wentz may be a “fool’s errand”, Washington still needs to build a capable roster and it could be argued that their biggest need is wide receiver. With only one off the board in this mock draft so far, Washington would have their choice of players. I would lean towards Alabama’s Jameson Williams, who would give them a stud WR-X to pair with Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel.


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