The 2021 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. Here is the Eric Stokes 2021 NFL Draft Profile.
Eric Stokes Background
Size: 6-foot-1, 185 pounds
2020 stats: 20 total tackles, 4 interceptions, 4 passes defended, 2 touchdowns
Stokes wasn’t expected to be a great corner, but he outperformed projections in his Georgia career. He has now entered the 2021 NFL Draft.
Out of high school, Stokes was just a three-star prospect, but still was recruited by Georgia. In his first year on campus, he logged three starts and got ample playing time. He finished the season with 20 tackles and nine passes defended. Georgia won 11 games, but lost the Sugar Bowl to end the year. In 2019, Stokes started and was an All-SEC second-team selection. He had 38 total tackles and nine passes defended as Georgia won 12 games including the Sugar Bowl. For the 2020 season, Stokes was an All-American who registered 20 total tackles, four interceptions and four passes defended. The Bulldogs won the Peach Bowl over Cincinnati to cap off a solid season.
After outperforming recruiting rankings, Stokes is now ready for the NFL. He is a projected first or second round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Stokes has solid speed for the position, which helps him keep up with fast receivers. This helps in both man to man and zone, but specifically makes him an asset in man to man. While there will be times where receivers can beat him deep, for the most part he is able to match up with them on a speed basis.
He plays physically and won’t be an easy matchup for wide receivers. Stokes gets his hands on receivers early in the play and keeps his hands on them throughout the route. When pass interference isn’t called, it is hard for wide receivers to break free because of his physicality. This physicality extends to when plays need to be made, as he will attack 50/50 balls and hit receivers to make sure they can’t complete the catch.
At Georgia Stokes got experience in both man and zone coverage. In man coverage, he is able to mirror and stay with receivers. He shows solid awareness in zone, as he passes off and picks up receivers in his zone well. Stokes also has solid length for a zone scheme. He is probably more advanced in man to man coverage, but could fit in either scheme.
Because he is so physical, Stokes could benefit from adding more strength. He is just 185 pounds and bigger receivers may have success fighting off his physicality. If he adds 15 pounds of muscle, while maintaining his speed, he will be a more complete corner, who could really stifle receivers.
His physicality is also a downside to his game. He tries to be disruptive so much that he can forget to turn his head around when the ball is in the air. Those types of plays will be pass interference calls in the NFL. He is very handsy, which not only could put him at risk of picking up penalties, but also covers up some technique issues, as he sometimes plays on his heels.
While he does attack 50/50 balls, his ball skills could still be better. He did misjudge some balls thrown his way over his career. Stokes also didn’t have an interception until the 2020 season. He didn’t seem like a natural catcher during his interceptions, so he’ll have to work at that after he gets into the pros.
Projected Draft Range: First Round Pick-Second Round Pick
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