“With the 29th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select Eric Stokes, cornerback from the University of Georgia.” Those were the words uddered as the Packers were on the clock on Thursday night. It’s safe to say that this first-round pick might be one of the most important in recent memory for the Packers with all the speculation happening around the team. Stokes was a great player for the Georgia Bulldogs and he adds great skill to a position of need for the Packers. He sounds like a great fit for this team as they try to solidify the future across from Jaire Alexander for years to come.
Eric Stokes Is The Man For The Green Bay Packers
Speed. That’s all you need to know. Eric Stokes is already one of the fastest players in the league as he ran a 4.25 at Georgia’s pro day. He already possesses something you can not teach. That’s not the only thing he excels at. Stokes has been good in press coverage across the board, as he allowed the second-lowest quarterback rating in such coverage last season. His good football instincts allow him to have the necessary ball skills and catch point strengths to affect a lot of passes thrown his way.
His technique can get a little messy at times and can get into a panic when in trouble but if he can get stronger and work with guys like Jaire Alexander, he can improve big time. Stokes stock rose in his time at Georgia and his improvement was noticeable. This kind of player is what the Packers might be looking for in the backfield as he intends to show his toughness and why he belongs in Green Bay’s system.
Eric Stokes was one of the defensive leaders of a great Georgia defense in his three years in college (2018-2020). He played in nine games his freshman year and tallied nine pass defenses, which was eighth in the SEC. Stokes had a lot to prove and he did so in 2019 by playing in all 13 games. He took advantage of that as he recorded 38 total tackles with a sack, earning him Second-Team defensive honors that year. Stokes reached his peak in college last year with a great season.
Stokes never had an interception until last season when he earned four of them, two returned for touchdowns. He was a lockdown corner when lined up on the outside as he only allowed a 37.2 passer rating and no touchdowns to come his way. That goes along with that second-lowest QBR mentioned above. His ball production took a big stride in 2020, earning him First-Team All-SEC recognition and that got the Packers font office on their heels.
Why Packers Fans Should Be Stoked About This Pick
Coming into the offseason, most Packers fans agreed that the team needed to address the cornerback position after what they saw last season. Even though the team signed Kevin King back to a one-year deal, drafting a cornerback to replace him was very necessary for this year and next. As pointed out, Stokes has a great skill-set needed on this team. The Packers needed a speedy cornerback across from one of the best if not the best cornerback in the league with Alexander. Stokes has a steller group around him with safeties Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage and of course a lockdown corner in Alexander.
Packer fans had to endure some huge news before the draft started but don’t let that deteriorate from noticing that this pick is one that this team had to make for the now and the future. His speed alone is what will make you fall in love with him in Green Bay. Stokes talked about being like Jaire and what he can learn from him, which has fans excited already. His dedication has already impressed before we even know what he looks like on the field. This draft pick could pay dividends for this team.