Eric Stokes Is Keeping a Close Eye on Jaire Alexander

Rookie Eric Stokes is trying to learn everything he can from Jaire Alexander. 

Most would agree it is a wise move for Eric Stokes to keep a close eye on Green Bay Packers corner, Jaire Alexander. That is exactly what he did during mandatory minicamp.

“I’m just trying to pick his brain apart and try to learn everything he's done – how to get the ball out and the little things you don’t see,” said Stokes.

Stokes said most people don’t show much work Alexander puts in outside of practice. That is why he is taking in everything from the All-Pro corner, hoping to build similar habits. Even though they have only known each other for a short time, it is safe to say Alexander has made quite the impression on Stokes.

“My first impression was that dude is a freak,” he said.

Stokes recalled a play from the very first practice in which Alexander made a great pass breakup. According to Stokes, it looked like the wide receiver had a clean catch near the sideline until Alexander punched the ball away at the last second.

“He’s different.”

Like Alexander, Stokes was also a first-round pick. Green Bay used the 27th overall pick in this year’s draft to select Stokes after the corner had a standout year at Georgia. During the 2020 season, Stokes intercepted four passes and showcased elite athleticism.

Alexander is one of the most gifted players on the Packers roster, and Stokes aims to be right up there with him. His 4.2 speed definitely serves as a solid baseline, but watching Alexander is how Stokes will become a better corner.

It appears Stokes is already implementing some of what he has learned from Alexander and the coaching staff. During a minicamp practice, Stokes intercepted a pass intended for Marquez Valdes-Scantling and returned it for what would have been a pick-six. Stokes scored two touchdowns during his final season at Georgia and certainly hopes to continue making plays in the pros.

Both Alexander and Stokes are true man-to-man corners. If Stokes can assimilate Alexander’s habits and techniques, it will help him become a better NFL corner. Luckily, Stokes isn’t faced with the pressure of having to contribute right away, which can sometimes be the case for first-round picks.

When Stokes finally sees game action, it will be interesting to see how much he has learned from Alexander and if there are any similarities in their playstyles.

 

 

 

Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.

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7 points

Comments (20)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
LambeauPlain's picture

June 18, 2021 at 12:12 pm

Alexander the Great was PFF best cover corner in the NFL last year.

If Red can absorb most of that performance, I am definitely Stoked.

8 points
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Coldworld's picture

June 18, 2021 at 12:19 pm

In my experience it’s hard to learn much from team mates in terms of aping what they do physically. That’s just so driven by the individual, but you can learn a ton about how to read, tips on how to improve the odds in play and a whole lot about physical and mental preparation. Like anything, the first step is having the acuity to know that and looking for it.

Both Stokes and Rodgers seem to have exactly the attitudes one hopes for to realize their potential. I like both picks more and more. Myers seems like another with a similar attitude. It is great to see.

8 points
8
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splitpea1's picture

June 18, 2021 at 03:03 pm

I hope we get him in there on defense as soon as possible; no need to bring him along at a snail's pace unless he's experiencing some kind of physical impairment or difficulty absorbing certain roles/schemes right away. I don't want to see much of him on special teams, either, unless he flashes some sort of special ability there--he's too valuable of a prospect.

5 points
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Coldworld's picture

June 18, 2021 at 12:26 pm

I want our back ups to be the primary STers ideally, not rookies in contention to start or play significant snaps. It’s not only injury but focus in training and time spent.

3 points
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Spock's picture

June 18, 2021 at 12:25 pm

I'm definitely "stoked" by the Stokes pick. If he surpasses King for the other corner, or becomes the "Star" DB, this could be a really exciting DB group (especially under the coaching of Jerry Gray). I'm looking forward to another "fun" year of Packer football! GPG!

7 points
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greengold's picture

June 18, 2021 at 12:47 pm

God, how I love this pick of Eric Stokes to the Packers!

What a phenomenal talent he is. Thinking about what he will do added to Jaire, King, Savage & Amos is really exciting. Imagine the coverage sacks, and the ballhawking we'll be seeing.

Add in improvements from Kingsley Keke, TJ Slaton being paired with Kenny Clark, and Z, Preston and Gary looking to improve this season, and there is a lot to like here. Barnes & Martin with a year's experience, along with Campbell manning the middle should help too. A lot of big hybrids signed in UDFA as well in Gaines, Uphoff & Wilborn. Personnel additions post draft point to the Packers being better able to handle both the run and the pass in the middle. I'm sure Joe Barry has that as one of his top priorities.

Opposing offenses are going to have their hands full trying to move and score on this 2021 Packers defense.

Addition by subtraction with Mike Pettine gone as well...

_______

splitpea, I'd have zero problems with Maurice Drayton using Stokes off the edge to block punts and FGs. Eric has a good knack for getting there and making those plays that can help change games.

5 points
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CoachDino's picture

June 18, 2021 at 04:16 pm

I'm with you GG. There is so much to like about this D, as usual I'm not as optimistic as my guy but you lay out the perfect argument. Is Stokes really going to see much playing time if KK is healthy? If Savage plays more in the slot is there a safety that can step in for him? I'm totally with you on Keke as well but has he gained enough weight and strength to hold up better against the run so to really become a plus player? Can TJ just step in at NT and suck up Double Teams (he has the size and strength but wasn't that good at it at Florida)

Still to your points there is strong potential for improvement and I'd rather be young and developing than old and regressing. Believe me I know about old and regressing...lol... Lots of reasons to be excited about the squad, can't wait to see them on the field.

5 points
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greengold's picture

June 18, 2021 at 10:12 pm

Hi Dino,
I read somewhere recently Keke put on about 15 lbs. of muscle mass in the offseason, putting him a little over 300 lbs. Sounds exactly like what the doctor ordered.

TJ seems to me like the classic player taken for the kind of pro teams often project a player to be. My guess is his massive size coupled with the speed he has displayed quite a lot at Florida is what the Packers wanted. Not your normal space eater. He was one of those guys getting like 30 something snaps per game who bounced into the 60s his last year at Florida. Best part is he liked it, and his play improved. I don’t know, but would guess he saw his share of double teams. That dude has a motor.

Like Stokes, Slaton has that valuable trait which cannot be taught for a man that large: speed. TJ Slaton was a really nice add to this D.

I could go on. Middle D in Green Bay should be vastly improved this season. I find the UDFA talent additions super impressive, and trust Joe Barry & Matt LaFleur to pull it off.

2 points
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PatrickGB's picture

June 18, 2021 at 02:16 pm

The secondary looks pretty good this off-season. But it’s just that. It’s the off-season. Hope abounds. Yet I do think they will do well. It’s the defensive line aside from Clark that has me concerned. Let’s hope that Barry can improve the defense as a whole.

3 points
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Qoojo's picture

June 18, 2021 at 03:17 pm

It's all sunshine and roses this time of year. Without pressure on the QB, eventually some receivers will come free.

2 points
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egbertsouse's picture

June 18, 2021 at 03:08 pm

He should watch what Kevin King does…..and then not do it.

5 points
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PewAuKeeFan's picture

June 18, 2021 at 06:30 pm

For example, don't do 200 pushups every day. That is something that KK claims he does, learnt it from his dad. Pushups are not cardio. If you do that many, then you need a couple of days gap before your next session. KK frequently has shoulder problems.... Gee! I wonder why??

1 points
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DamSkippy's picture

June 19, 2021 at 07:43 am

now that there is puny. your assuming king makes the team of course. I think he is too stupid to play pro ball. just can't figure it out.

-3 points
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Rebecca's picture

June 18, 2021 at 03:25 pm

I like this guy already. Stay healthy and hungry young man.

4 points
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mnbadger's picture

June 18, 2021 at 03:32 pm

GPG!

2 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

June 18, 2021 at 05:19 pm

I'm sure none of us care but you have to believe Kevin King feels slighted and disrespected by Stokes only mentioning Jaire. Hopefully just one more thing to motivate and propel King to a good season.

I am very excited about Stoke and his potential.

4 points
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PackerAaron's picture

June 19, 2021 at 07:56 am

He mentioned Jaire because he was asked about Jaire specifically.

1 points
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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 18, 2021 at 05:30 pm

Jackson, Ento and Hollman should also be watching Alexander carefully.

3 points
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Bure9620's picture

June 18, 2021 at 07:37 pm

No one will ever run away from Stokes....he will be the fastest player on field. I just worry about his change of direction. D-Coordinators are going to challenge him with dig routes.

1 points
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Turophile's picture

June 19, 2021 at 07:44 am

Stokes has speed in the 4.2 range, that is crazy fast, Deion Sanders kind of speed, where you are so fast you can bait QBs into throwing where it looks like there is a window...............but there isn't. If I recall correctly he (Stokes) was the best man cover guy in college last year.

I find this especially interesting as the Packers new defensive coordinator Barry, is known more for zone coverage than man-to-man...........but that might be due to not having sufficiently high quality man-to-man specialists.

I like the idea that Barry tailors the defence to make the best of what his guys can do.................so if they are good man cover guys, that's how he mostly uses them, but he has options. He should also be able to vary coverage with split concepts added in (man one side and zone on the other) with Alexander and Stokes both capable of doing either. Being multiple is very 'in' these days.

3 points
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