When the Green Bay Packers selected Eric Stokes with the 29th Overall pick in the draft, many analysts thought they reached. To many, Stokes was a late second round or early third round talent, and was behind multiple corners still on the board. Green Bay thought otherwise, and jumped on the opportunity to have Stokes.
In his 2 full seasons at Georgia, Stokes was a menace of pure athleticism. He was all over the field and was able to return 2 interceptions for scores and recorded 4 breakups and 20 tackles in his 2020 season.
He played all around in college, but should fit in well on the outside in the NFL to shut down any big play potential the Packers might face. Stokes won’t be asked to cover number one receivers, but will have to cover some high end talent on some talented offenses.
Eric Stokes is slightly undersized as a tackler, but fares well in both man and zone coverage. As long as he gets ample coaching from new Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry, and Defensive Backs coach Jerry Grey, Stokes could easily develop well alongside Jaire Alexander.
Green Bay kept Kevin King on the roster, and Jaire looks to only be improving, so these two will help take some pressure off Stokes as he makes the jump to the NFL. He can spend more time learning the defense, and developing his raw talent throughout the season as opposed to learning on the fly playing every down guarding top tier talent.
Once he is able to develop his game, Stokes should act as a strong combo addition to the game of Alexander. Jaire is the definition of a lockdown corner. He doesn’t get thrown to often, and practically shuts down any receiver he covers. What this does is it enables other members of the Packers defense to make plays, as long as they are in the right position. If Stokes can learn quickly, and use his athletic prowess to his advantage, these two could be a deadly duo for the Packers secondary that has lacked consistency.
Eric Stokes has a lot of potential, but needs some good coaching to really help secure his game. If everything falls into plan, this speedster could be the final puzzle piece for a Packers defense that can finally help take pressure off of Aaron Rodger’s shoulders.——————
Kaleb is currently attending UW Green Bay pursuing an English degree. His lifelong goal is to one day work for ESPN. You can follow him on twitter at @kaleb_baumgart.