Eric Stokes Off the Board to the Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers have selected former Georgia Bulldogs corner Eric Stokes with the No. 29 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
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The Green Bay Packers selected former Georgia Bulldogs cornerback Eric Stokes with the No. 29 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Stokes broke onto the scene during the 2021 NFL season for the Bulldogs. He led the team with four interceptions, including a pick-six against the Florida Gators.

Stokes was selected to the first-team All-SEC at the end of the season. He was also named a first-team All-American by CBS Sports.

At the moment, Stokes will be at his best when playing man coverage. He doesn't have the best ball skills, but is one of the best in-phase corners Georgia has had in the last half decade.

Many were down on Stokes during the draft process. Pro Football Focus even left Stokes off their top-10 corners list.

Part of the concern from evaluators was that Stokes doesn't have elite size. He is 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, a far cry from teammate Tyson Campbell's measurables of 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds.

What Stokes doesn't have in size or ball skills he makes up for in speed and man coverage ability. 

Stokes clocked a 4.28-second 40-yard dash on three separate occasions during his pre-draft process.

He also logged a 41-inch vertical, meaning that if he had to high-point the ball, he eventually could.

Most NFL defensive backs coaches believe ball skills can be taught. What they can't teach is elite top-end speed and natural technique in man-to-man coverage, both of which Stokes has. 

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