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Jets Select DB Qwan'tez Stiggers in 5th Round of 2024 NFL Draft

After Taking Circuitous Path Through 7-on-7 League to CFL, He Says, 'I Feel Like I'm at Home' with Green & White


The Jets continued arguably the most active day in any draft in their history by selecting cornerback Qwan'tez Stiggers out of the Canadian Football League with the 176th overall pick of the 2024 NFL Draft, the final pick of the fifth round.

Stiggers (5-11, 203) had a roller-coaster history, playing high school ball at B.E.S.T. Academy in Atlanta, initially enrolling at Lane College in Tennessee, sitting out football in '21 after the death of his father, entering and excelling in the 7-on-7 Fan Controlled Football (FCF) league back in Atlanta in '22, and last season being named the CFL's Most Outstanding Rookie while playing with the Toronto Argonauts.

He started 16 games last season, tying for second in the CFL in 2023 with five interceptions and making 56 tackles.

"It's amost surreal for me, man," Stiggers told team reporters after his selection. "I came up to the Jets on a top-30 visit and me and Coach TO [CBs coach Tony Oden] built a great relationship, and now I just feel like I'm at home. I might not have gone in the round I wanted to go, but at the end of the day, I love that the Jets selected me."

Despite his background and relative inexperience, many scouts see Stiggers as, in the words of draft analyst Lance Zierlein, "a very real prospect" with adequate size and speed and NFL-caliber ball skills and instincts.

Stiggers doesn't expect any hiccups in his transition from the CFL.

"I think my biggest adjustment is just going to be not having guys running me," he said. "I think I showed at East-West [this year's East-West Shrine Game] that I can press. I feel like my whole mindset is that if I get the right coaching staff, the sky's the limit. I just feel that being with the Jets, I've got a great opportunity to further my career."

And Stiggers is yet one more draft choice by the Jets and in the NFL to attest to the power of family and community in their particular situations. Going to the Argos, he said, "I was just looking for an opportunity but it ended up being more than that. It ended up being a life-changing year for me where I could chase my dreams and go to the NFL."

And he remains eternally grateful to God, his mother for signing him up for the FCF in '22, and his family for their support. "It's just believing in those who believe in you," he said. "I'm going to be going beyond the sky now."

With all of the trades by general manager Joe Douglas and his staff up and down the third day of the draft, the Jets had just one selection left that they held onto and that was No. 257, their third and last compensatory selection, and just as important, the pick for "Mr. Irrelevant" that will end the Jets' and the NFL's 2024 draft.

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