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The Houston Texans spent the No. 3 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft on LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. with the expectation that he’ll be come a shutdown artist on defense.
While he develops in that area of his game, the rookie is also finding other ways to make an immediate impact, working as a punt returner during training camp, per Mark Lane of Texans Wire:
“Yeah, Stingley can do a lot of things,” said Smith. “Punt returner is one of them. Now I’m not saying that he for sure is going to for sure be our punt returner, but the more things you can do. You probably noticed Derek getting more reps today. We’ll continue to bring him along at the pace that we had set up before camp started. He gets a little better each day, too.”
Stingley was slowed by injury last season, but was still impressive enough on tape for the Texans to make him the first cornerback off the board in this year’s draft.
If he’s able to stay healthy, Stingley could easily develop into one of the best corners in the league. Until then, he’s athletic enough with the ball in his hands to make a big splash in the return game, as well.