2021 NFL Draft Profile: Eric Stokes

Eric Stokes Jr. entered the Georgia program as a mid-level recruit and has left as one of the top available corners available in the NFL Draft.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Talent has not been a question under head coach Kirby Smart during his time at Georgia. He's stacked the roster with four and five stars at each and every position. However, whether or not he can develop that talent is a question that's been brought up rather consistently. 

However, when players like Eric Stokes are considered, the questioning of development at Georgia becomes a bit silly. 

Stokes entered college as a three-star recruit, and he's left as one of the top corners available in the 2021 NFL Draft after playing three years at Georgia. 

So, how did this former track star turn into a potential first-rounder by the time he became a redshirt junior? Here's his NFL Draft profile:

Strengths

Speed. It's an invaluable trait. It's also why of all positions, the cornerback's 40-yard dash is the most important. It's what shows whether or not a corner has great recovery speed and whether or not they can play man coverage against NFL wide receivers. Stokes has speed in spades. 

During his time at Georgia, Stokes has developed into an excellent man-to-man cover corner. Over the last three years, the last two as a full-time starter, wide receivers have failed to create space against Stokes. Even the one touchdown pass Stokes allowed this season was to Alabama's Devonta Smith, and there was nothing Stokes could do about it 

He's physical and confident as a corner and those are two traits that are required on the next level. 

Weaknesses

This might sound strange considering he led Georgia with four interceptions this season, but I question his ball skills at times. It's not that he can't disrupt the ball, and keep the wide receiver from making the catch; he's excellent at that. My concern on the NFL level is that he fails to high-point the football with his hands. 

The overwhelming majority of Stokes interceptions have been caught in his chest or stomach, not his hands. It's not a major concern considering NFL teams value coverage skills over ball skills, but it's something that could keep him from being the No. 1 corner off the board.

NFL Draft Projection: Second Round

You may also like

Final AP Top-25, Where Did Georgia Finish?

Instant Reaction: Where Tyrique Stevenson's Departure Leaves Georgia

Georgia Roster Update

Join the community

Follow Brooks Austin on Twitter: @BrooksAustinSI

Follow Kyle Funderburk on Twitter: @DKFunderburk

Subscribe to our YouTube Page HERE

You can follow us for future coverage by clicking "Follow" on the top right-hand corner of the page. Also, be sure to like us on Facebook @BulldogMaven & follow us on Twitter at @BuldogsSI.