So Eric Stokes; okay, lets get into it!
Stokes was on my list for potential Packers pick; I didn’t have him in the first round because I felt they could have traded down and still got him. Gutekunst did say that had Stokes not been there, he would have traded down. That makes me think that they had some trade-down offers, but that they were maybe in the middle of the second round, and they were not comfortable trading that far down.
Stokes is a good player but does have his flaws. He does show on film some stiffness in his hips; it’s not nearly as bad as his teammate Tyson Campbell, though. It is probably one of the reasons why he’s been better in zone coverage versus man. It allows him to keep everything in front of him and doesn’t have to flip his hips as much. Also, before 2020, he had 0 interceptions, and watching his picks from 2020 a couple of them were just bad throws by the QB. He still showed good hands, so you have to give him credit for that.
Positives obviously are his size, speed, and good hands. Can play both zone and man. Stokes had the slowest short shuttle time of any DB drafted by Gutey and Thompson. Only by .01, but the slowest one drafted by Gutekunst was a 4.23 so it’s a good amount slower. His 6.96 3 cone wasn’t too bad, but he’s still a little on the slower side compared to the other cornerbacks that Gutekunst has drafted.
There is an interesting pro player comp out there that I have heard from Mark Eckel on Twitter. He compared him to a more pro-ready Sam Shields, and it makes sense. They have similar athletic profiles. Stokes is bigger and stronger, but Shields was a lot more agile. Their play styles are also similar. The way I see it is Stokes is a combination of Shields and Kevin King. He has some struggles with agility like King (even though King tested really well in agility drills).
All this being said, what’s his upside? Some out there are trying to say he’s a lockdown corner, an eraser. If he was that good, he would have gone earlier. Now yes, he does still have a lot of upsides, but lockdown corner? That’s really high praise.
Lockdown corners are very hard to come by; guys like Jaire, Woodson, Revis, Deon Sanders, Ramsey, etc, those guys are lock-down corners. I will say though, he has the potential to be a pretty good #2 corner, and with Jaire on the other side, that’s all you need to make life difficult for other teams’ offensive coordinators.
If he reaches his potential? Gutey gets an A on the pick.