Georgia CB Eric Stokes Might Be a Fit

CB Eric Stokes is a possibility for the Packers at 29. 

Even though Kevin King is back in Green Bay on a one-year deal, the Packers need to address the cornerback position in this year’s draft. Perhaps, with one of their first two picks.

Georgia corner Eric Stokes is a player to watch for when the Green Bay is on the clock with the 29th pick. He has showcased his blazing speed during the pre-draft process, and he is coming off a year in which he brought in four interceptions. Stokes excels as a man-to-man corner. He can run with anyone, and he’s got good size at 6’1, 194 pounds. However, the Packers need a corner that can fit into their new scheme under Joe Barry. Stokes believes his talent transcends across all schemes.

"It doesn't matter what scheme I'll be in. This is only my 4th year playing true DB, so you can throw me into any type of scheme, and I'm going to try to adapt the best way I can,” Stokes said at his pro day.

Under Mike Pettine, Green Bay played an unaggressive zone scheme with the corners giving plenty of cushion, even on short yardage downs. It’s undetermined what the Packers will run under Barry and what type of corner he would want. He is rooted in a Tampa-2 style defense but has worked with multiple coaches whose principles have likely rubbed off on him and will help shape his future defense. 

Last year, the Los Angeles Rams operated out of zone coverage on over 80 percent of their snaps under defensive coordinator Brandon Staley. Barry served under Staley as the linebackers coach and saw a creative scheme that allowed Jalen Ramsey to occasionally follow the opponent’s best receiver all around the field. Jaire Alexander could be the chess piece for Barry that Ramsey was for Staley. However, someone will have to be paired opposite of King if Alexander is defending a receiver in the slot. Also, someone will have to be ready to step in if King is not back after his one-year deal expires.

Maybe Stokes is the starting corner of the future.

Stokes finished a strong career playing for the Bulldogs with a breakout 2020 season while going up against some of the best receivers in the country. He immediately showcased good ball skills, totaling nine pass defenses in each of his first two seasons but had no interceptions. Stokes showed improvement by turning four of those ball-hawking opportunities into picks as a junior.

Stokes was considered one of the top corner prospects at the end of last season, but the buzz surrounding him took off after he ran a 4.22 at the House of Athlete Combine. He continued to show his freakish athleticism when he had a 41.5-inch vertical and a 131” broad jump. His performance substantiated the athleticism he displayed at Georgia.

There’s good reason to believe Stokes would be a solid compliment to Alexander’s style. Maybe even better than King. King has a couple of inches of height over Stokes, and they have similar builds, but Stokes is noticeably faster. It’s possible that Stokes’ coverage ability and physical traits can help the team transition away King after next season.

Stokes will continue to get a lot of attention leading up to the draft. Some mocks may have him getting selected before Green Bay is on the clock and some will have him still on the board. No one really knows. However, what we do know is that the Packers need to thing about their future corners in this year’s draft. If Stokes and Alexander are the Packers primary corners over the next few years, they would have two great athletes who are true cover corners.

 

 

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

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Comments (16)

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

March 24, 2021 at 12:20 pm

This year's draft is stacked with talent...this GM better trade back in the 1st and get more picks IMO. Last year was not good for Gute and staff. Reaching and hoping are not going to get wins in championship games. It always comes down to team cohesion and team play not just one individual. I do like Dillion but I had him as a mid 3rd rd. pick. Runyon will be a starter and that was a great 6th rd pick!
As for Stokes, I like him but more as a mid 2nd rd. Cosmi, Jenkins or Mayfield at 29-34, Molden at 62 and Shelvin 90-92 are my first 3 picks.

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Coldworld's picture

March 24, 2021 at 01:15 pm

Can’t trade back far in the first without being a second. It’s possible, but if we get a plus player falling to us, I’d say take him.

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jannes bjornson's picture

March 24, 2021 at 07:20 pm

Move up for two picks in the first round.

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Archie's picture

March 24, 2021 at 03:36 pm

"....Last year was not good for Gute and staff...."

When was the last time the Pack hit on all three picks in R1-R2-R3? 2020 might be the last time. Prior to that? 2019 (maybe all 5 of its top picks). Prior to that? 2010, 2009 and 2005 (murphy lost to injury in rookie year but was looking good early on as first of Ted's many ace WR picks).

NOTE: Ron Wolf conducted 10 GBP drafts and never once aced his first 3 picks in a draft. And Gutey did so in his 2nd draft and possibly his 3rd draft as well. DeGuara & Dillon showed us what they were capable last year and Love is still an unknown.

Why you want disparage Gute's drafting ability is unknown to me. Yes, in his first draft he blew his R2 and R3 picks. Other than that, he has done darn well if you ask me.

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dblbogey's picture

March 24, 2021 at 03:36 pm

We already have 10 picks in the draft. We need quality, not quantity. LOL that last year's draft was no good. A bit early on that assessment.

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mnbadger's picture

March 24, 2021 at 12:32 pm

These pre-draft scouting reports are such a tease, showing talent and fit for all the players covered. I'd take them all so far, but most will not be available so it all comes down to draft night. Keep it up though. GPG

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stockholder's picture

March 24, 2021 at 12:49 pm

I thought this guy might be the best pick @62. No way at 29. So I watched his tape against Alabama. He grabs. And with all his speed. That just didn't fit. I Really Thought Campbell was the better corner. Until I saw him fall down. Alabama has speed. So either are going to be a work in progress. I'll bet Gute saw it too. Staying with Kevin King was the answer.

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Coldworld's picture

March 24, 2021 at 01:18 pm

Grabby just scares me. Seems like it’s a hard failing to overcome and so potentially damaging.

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Stroh's picture

March 26, 2021 at 04:04 pm

I wouldn't trust what stockholder says. He's mostly confused. Seems he has dementia or something. Read a scouting report from anyone else.

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Coldworld's picture

March 24, 2021 at 01:19 pm

.

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Coldworld's picture

March 24, 2021 at 01:20 pm

..

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Coldworld's picture

March 24, 2021 at 01:21 pm

Darn, grabbed at the submit button: sorry, duplicate posts. Should take off the boxing gloves first.

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Befuddled's picture

March 24, 2021 at 06:09 pm

Yes take the gloves off and donate them to the Packers in case the decide to draft Grabby and he can wear them.. If memory serves they tried that approach with another cornerback who was "grabby" and also a 1st round pick.

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Lphill's picture

March 24, 2021 at 12:55 pm

I think a good scheme for Barry would be to not have his corners play 10 feet off his opponent.

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AndrewInAtlanta's picture

March 24, 2021 at 07:24 pm

I watch every UGA game. I’m not seeing Stokes in the 1st round. He’s pretty good (definitely fast) but gave up some pretty big plays. Maybe he needs a bit more time as he did not play DB in HS. I think Packer-verse will implode if this is our 1st round pick. Just my 2 cents

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GatorJason's picture

March 26, 2021 at 05:27 pm

Assuming BPA options align with GBP PON, here's one a la carte'
picklist that would make me happy if BG could select from.
I like E. Stokes in 2nd. He's among several red chip CBs going 29-62.
If a player slides that Packers rate highly (like Z. Collins), then you
break draft plan for need and pounce whenever an impact player
unexpectedly falls your way. Avoid reaching for "must haves".

1. (29) OT: Teven Jenkins / Jalen Mayfield / Alijah Vera-Tucker
2. (62) CB: Greg Newsome II / Ifeatu Melifonwu / Eric Stokes
3. (92) DT: Alim McNeill / Jay Tufele / Bobby Brown III
4. (135) C: Josh Meyers / Quinn Meinerz or CB2: Kelvin Joseph
4. (142) WR: Amari Rodgers / Demetric Felton / Dax Milne
5. (173) OLB: Adetokunbo Ogundeji/Wyatt Hubert/Will Bradley-King
5. (178) ILB: Garret Wallow / Tony Fields II / Buddy Lee
6. (214) RB: Javian Hawkins / Gerrid Doaks / Elijah Mitchell
6. (220) WR: Trevon Grimes / Damonte Coxie / Tim Jones
7. (256) DT: Isaiahh Loudermilk / Khyiris Tonga / Tedarrell Slaton

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