I will be writing scouting reports on all Packers’ draft picks. I will be writing them specifically for the Packers. Like how they fit the scheme or don’t fit, strengths, weaknesses, and a final thought on how they fit with the Packers.
Obviously, first up is their first pick:
6’0 5/8ths, 194 pounds
He is blazing fast and it shows on film; his acceleration is also amazing. Stokes has a long body with long arms and has great hands. Stokes shows a very good explosion out of his backpedal. When the ball comes to him, he catches it. He knocks away a lot of balls as well.
He shows great vision when playing in zone coverage and does a good job of reading the quarterback’s eyes. Stokes pretty much shuts down any vertical route; he’s also decent in man coverage. He can play press or off coverage. Overall, a decent tackler.
He does a good job of mirroring his receiver, especially in the press. A durable player not much in the way of injuries. Shows a good side saddle technique on film.
He does show some stiffness in his hips; this bears out in his agility testing from his pro day. Quick agile receivers will give him some problems. He struggled some against Davonta Smith in 2020. He can get a little handsy when a receiver makes a quick break, and he feels like he can’t keep up. Generally, not a big physical hitter type. Outside of his 2020 season, he only had one interception. He takes some false steps, but because of his speed, he can recover pretty quickly.
He will probably never be a big interception guy. He had four picks in 2020, but a couple of his interceptions were just really bad throws, almost gift interceptions from the quarterback. His false steps might cause him some trouble at the NFL level, though, where everyone you go against is an elite athlete.
There have been a lot of comparisons of him to Sam Shields. They are both fast athletic guys who play to their speed and are not the most physical players that rely more on their ability to mirror receivers rather than press them at the line and play physically with them. While I agree with the comparisons, it’s not exactly a 1:1 match. Shields was smaller, obviously. Shields was also a lot more flexible/quick. Stokes probably will have better overall ball production. Stokes is better in the zone where Shields was probably better in man.
The best comparison would be Shields with a little Kevin King sprinkled in. He is bigger like King, and he also has some trouble with inbreaking routes and has some overall agility issues, although I will say he does not seem as bad as Kings. He needs work on his eye discipline and just getting better at reading the receiver and the quarterback. The best fit for him is a primary zone scheme, which Barry is rumored to be running. So he would be a great fit for the new defense.