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2022 NFL Draft: Derek Stingley Jr. Injury Overview

2022 NFL Draft: Derek Stingley Jr. Injury Overview

Derek Stingley Jr. projects to be selected in the top 10, but how much concern do teams need to have on a player coming straight off of Lisfranc (foot) surgery in September? NFL players can return to the field as early as six months, but the recovery is tough and has historically taken them closer to 11.

Andrew Erickson Mock Draft

The Lisfranc ligament is key to giving athletes a stable base in the foot to cut, pivot and jump off of. With that in mind, it makes sense that players who rely on quickness and speed have seen the largest impacts after surgery. WRs, RBs and DBs in the SportsMedAnalytics (SMA) database have experienced average production declines of about 20% upon their initial return. The most worrisome part for NFL teams is that these drop-offs have tended to last up to two years before fully returning to normal.

But Stingley is not normal. He’s been unquestionably elite at every level so far. A consensus five-star recruit coming out of high school, Stingley instantly stepped in at LSU and made a name for himself as a projected top-five pick in the NFL Draft. The Lisfranc injury affected that stock a bit, especially with fellow DB Sauce Gardner earning impressive scouting profiles without the worry about the fresh injury.

While the injury concerns are warranted — as demonstrated by the SMA data above — we would strongly recommend against sleeping on Derek Stingley Jr. His April Pro Day was highlighted by a 4.37 40-time and 38-inch vertical, but most impressive is that he was only seven months post-surgery at the time. As crazy as it sounds, those numbers represent only ~85% of his full potential. Based on the SMA algorithm, Stingley’s full athletic recovery projects to occur around 13 months post-surgery or approximately six-to-eight weeks into the 2022 NFL season. He will be cleared and ready to roll by the start of training camp, but we have strong reason to suspect rapid improvements as the season progresses.

In today’s NFL, hyper-athletic DBs are premium commodities, and Stingley is coming at a discount. If your team picks him, congratulations on the value.

CTAs


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