GREEN BAY, Wis. – Draft grades are like a box of Twinkies. You know you shouldn’t open the story/open the box. You do, anyway, and come away feeling unsatisfied and wondering why you did it. (But I thank you for doing so, and hope you will do so again on Saturday and Sunday.) With that overwhelming recommendation, here are the delectable views of Green Bay’s first-round pick, cornerback Eric Stokes.
Pro Football Focus gave the Packers a “Poor.” As part of its summation, PFF wrote: “Stokes is one of the fastest players in this class, regardless of position. He’s not particularly fluid or instinctive, though. That’s why we viewed him as a third-round product at best.”
CBS’s Pete Prisco gave the Packers a B-plus. “He has size and can run and addresses a major need. I like the pick a lot.”
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The Draft Network’s Ryan Fowler gave the Packers a B-minus. “Poor Kevin King. General manager Brian Gutekunst selects Eric Stokes for his cornerback room in an effort to add talent opposite Jaire Alexander. Stokes, a toolsy corner, will have no issue keeping up with wideouts at the next level, but he has major progress to make as a cover corner.”
Yahoo!’s Eric Edholm gave the Packers a C-minus. “Aaron Rodgers has to be pumped. Stokes ran a blistering 40-yard dash (4.29 seconds), is regarded as smart and versatile. But he also needs some technique work, can be grabby and isn’t yet a finished product. Stokes going ahead of Tyson Campbell, his Georgia teammate, is interesting.
NFL.com’s Chad Reuter gave the Packers an A-minus. “Cornerback was a major need for the Packers, even after re-signing Kevin King. Stokes was in the first-round conversation even before his 4.29 pro day 40 yard-dash, thanks to his fluid hips and excellent ball skills.”
Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski gave the Packers an F. As part of a much longer summation, he wrote: “A year ago, general manager Brian Gutekunst rationalized his continual passing on wide receivers by basically saying the board didn’t fall in Green Bay’s favor and the team liked the younger options on the roster. That excuse no longer flies. The Packers could have chosen LSU’s Terrace Marshall Jr., Ole Miss’ Elijah Moore, North Carolina’s Dyami Brown or Purdue’s Rondale Moore.
The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia gave the Packers a C. As part of his summation, he wrote: “Stokes is 6-foot-1 with long arms and ran a blazing 4.29. He was terrific in nine games last season but had some inconsistencies throughout his career. Brugler had Stokes as his 51st overall prospect, while Jeremiah had him 50th. The Packers obviously liked him more than that.”
The Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer gave the Packers a B-minus. As part of his summation, he wrote: “The Packers had to address cornerback at some point to try to get the ideal complementary playmaker for Jaire Alexander. This just seems early as they again eschew direct offensive help for Aaron Rodgers, either an offensive tackle or wide receiver.”
USA Today’s Luke Easterling gave the Packers a C-minus. As part of his summation, he wrote: “Stokes has a promising blend of size, speed and length, which makes him an ideal candidate to eventually replace Kevin King. Still, ignoring the needs on offense won’t help tensions with the defending MVP quarterback.”
Pro Football Network’s AJ Schulte gave the Packers a B. As part of his summation, he wrote: “This was a bit of a surprise, but Stokes has been thought of as a potential surprise first-round pick. He’s a fast corner as a former track star, with good footwork and intelligence. His intangibles and IQ have been raved about by his coaches, which I’m sure played a part in the first-round buzz.”
The Ringer’s Danny Kelly gave the Packers a C. As part of his summation, he wrote: “Stokes is an electric athlete, helps address a long-term need for the Packers, and should quell fans’ fears of depending too much on Kevin King in 2021. But it’s getting almost comical how much Green Bay’s front office has ignored the wide receiver position over the past two years. With reports circulating that Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay, this wasn’t exactly an olive-branch-type pick.”
FoxSports.com’s Rob Rang gave the Packers a C-plus. As part of Rang’s summation, he wrote: “Stokes boasts all of the athletic upside in the world, but is not yet the polished player his height and speed would suggest. Playing opposite Jaire Alexander is going to get Stokes plenty of attention from opposing quarterbacks. The Packers do, however, boast the pass rush to help the investment in an athlete like Stokes ultimately pay off.”
Football Outsiders’ Mike Tanier gave the Packers a B. Tanier mentioned the Aaron Rodgers saga before wrapping up with: “For now, it appears that the Packers are going about business as usual and will have the This is Fine dog announcing their Day 2 draft picks from its burning kitchen. So I will proceed in a similar fashion and pretend this was just an ordinary selection, not something that will be perceived as a final slap in the face by one of the greatest quarterbacks of his generation.”