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Eric Stokes 2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report
Name: Eric Stokes
Weight: 194 lbs
Overall Rank: No. 73 overall
Position Rank: CB9
Strengths: First and foremost, Eric Stokes is a height/weight/speed guy that teams gravitate towards naturally. Throw in the fact that he’s got solid foundational traits and it’s no wonder why he’s mentioned as a Day 2 lock. Stokes was a high school track star and has retained that speed as a corner, rarely overwhelmed by the athletes across the line of scrimmage. He’s seen time on the field for Georgia since his freshman year and, in the highly-competitive SEC, that matters quite a bit. He’s got a good overall burst in his lower half and triggers like he’s still running track, firing out of the blocks in his backpedal and getting downhill in a hurry. Stokes is comfortable playing with a little physicality throughout route stems and will give a defensive coordinator a potential option to line up outside or in the slot.
Weaknesses: Stokes has largely been able to get away with being an elite speed athlete and, while he’s developing traits beyond that, he still falls back on that pure athleticism too often. It might work at Georgia, but it won’t routinely win in the NFL. Down the field, Stokes gets a little hectic at the catch-point and doesn’t consistently track the ball or fight through hands with fluidity when breaking up passes. Until 2020, he failed to log an interception in a game and even his 2020 picks weren’t dominant plays. He could stand to improve his overall route recognition as a zone defender and use some of that high-level athleticism to cut routes coming into his space. As a run defender, he is underwhelming and will get bullied on the boundary when teams formation him into run fits.
What I Love: Stokes checks all of the immediate boxes that teams want in a starting corner from a physical profile perspective. He also has above-average fundamental traits that, with continued ascension, could see him earn a starting job sooner rather than later.
NFL Comparison: Kyle Fuller
Position Specific Traits:
(key: +, ++, +++ positive scale | -, - -, - - - negative scale)
Athletic Ability: ++
Man Coverage: ++
Run Support: -
Zone Coverage: +