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NY Jets Draft DB Qwan’tez Stiggers of the Toronto Argonauts 176th Overall

The New York Jets drafted defensive back Qwan’tez Stiggers 176th overall in the fifth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday. Stiggers is the first player to be drafted directly out of the NFL in over 20 years.

Stiggers’ pathway to professional football presents a unique story. He did not play in college due to a tragic and unexpected car accident involving his father in February of 2020 which resulted in his fathers’ later passing in September of 2020. Stiggers’ was a freshman at Lane College at the time of his father’s passing which led to depression and ultimately resulted in him dropping out despite having a scholarship.

Qwan’tez tried out for Fan Controlled Football (FCF) in 2022 at the suggestion of his mother. He played the 2022 season in the FCF and was later recommended to try out for the CFL by Josh Jenkins, Toronto Argonauts offensive coordinator.

Despite the lack of collegiate experience Stigger’s made the Toronto Argonauts’ regular season roster. He was a player off the radar who came in and made a significant impact. He played in 16 regular season games with 15 starts in 2023 for the double blue recording 54 tackles and 5 interceptions. His first interception came in his first game as he picked off Bo Levi Mitchell against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Following the season he was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie. He was just the 4th defensive back to win the award since its inception in 1972. He was also recognized by Pro Football Focus by being named to their Second Team CFL All-Star Team at cornerback. He had one of the higher pass coverage grades from PFF among defensive backs at 84.8

Stiggers participated in the East-West Shrine Bowl where he further impressed scouts. Seeing his Toronto Argonauts’ helmet among all the NCAA helmets was a very rare occurrence as a player entered the NFL Draft through means outside of college. It was an enjoyable sight, to say the least.

Stiggers further impressed scouts at his personal pro day which he held in March where 29 NFL teams had representatives in attendance. He ran a 4.47-second 40-yard dash, 4.25-second short shuttle, and 7.2-second three-cone drill. He also performed a 36.5-inch vertical jump and a 10’8” broad jump.

Stiggers measures in at 5’11, 204 pounds, and is 22 years old. He still has a year on his contract left with the Toronto Argonauts but it is believed that the Argonauts may allow for his release despite the window having been closed already for CFL players under contract to sign NFL deals.

@JonathanClink on Twitter

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Jonathan Clink Reporter
Jonathan Clink joined CFL News Hub in early April of 2023. His primary responsibilities are covering the BC Lions and Montreal Alouettes. He self awarded himself the CFL Rookie Journalist of the Year in 2023 following the 2023 CFL season. He also proclaims himself to be a "really cool guy". He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and lived a large portion of his childhood in Northwest Ontario. He currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan and misses being being able to have 4 months of skating every winter. Clink has written over 240 articles for CFL News Hub. He was the publication's boots on the ground at the 2023 Grey Cup in Hamilton. Clink has always had an obsession for sport and has a background in other sports as well having played hockey all his life and soccer, basketball, and lacrosse in high school. As a young child he used to log his hockey statistics after every game which is either an indication that he was destined for the role or perhaps and indication that he is rather strange.
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