After a pre-draft process that frustrated Green Bay Packers fans, we had the long wait of finding out who would be the newest member of the team in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. While fan favorites like wide receiver Elijah Moore, linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Korahmoah, offensive tackle Tevin Jenkins and safety Trevon Moehrig were all sitting at the 29th overall selection for the Packers, the front office instead decided to fill a need position by taking Georgia cornerback Eric Stokes. Though the selection seemed underwhelming to most, lets take a look at what we can expect from the newest member of the Packers:
Measurables: 6’1″, 185 pounds, 4.25 40-Yard Dash
Pro Comparisons: Josh Norman, Greedy Williams
Positives: Stokes is a speedy outside corner that is not afraid to play man coverage. He only allowed one touchdown in the 2020 season and that was to Philadelphia Eagles first-round pick and Heisman winner DeVonta Smith. Stokes has the ability to be successful in both man-to-man and zone coverage schemes, which will allow the Packers to be more versatile.
Weaknesses: Stokes can tend to be grabby and is a tight in the hips. He often relies on his speed and can trail at times when it’s unnecessary. He also does not play nearly as fast as his straight line speed would indicate. Stokes may only be used early in sub packages as he gets used to the NFL level.
Overall Grade: Overall, a B- grade seems to be a solid evaluation for Green Bay’s first-round selection. Stokes fills a position of need for the Packers as a boom-or-bust prospect. The problem is that he probably could have been selected in the second round. The Packers could have traded down, picked up some draft capital and still have picked Stokes or another prospect in the same tier. Green Bay also could have added a dynamic playmaker in Elijah Moore or a plug-in tackle such as Tevon Jenkins in the first round.
Looking into the second round, available prospects for the Packers should be the following: WR Elijah Moore, WR Terrace Marshall Jr, TE Pat Freiermuth, OT Tevon Jenkins, OT Samuel Cosmi, OL Landon Dickerson, DT Christian Barmore, LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, S Trevon Moehrig.