Teams looking to upgrade at cornerback will have plenty of options to choose from in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft, including Eric Stokes. Here's a look at what teams like and have some concerns about when it comes to the first-team All-SEC selection from Georgia.
(This profile is one of 230 featured in the Athlon Sports 2021 NFL Draft Guide. With in-depth scouting reports on the top prospects, position rankings, and more, no source will have you better prepared for draft day. Click here to get your copy.)
Eric Stokes Draft Profile
Stokes is a prototype in terms of length, speed and physicality. He is battle-tested from competing in the SEC and is well prepared for the pros coming out of Georgia’s program. Primarily an outside corner, he has fluid hips and is at his best tracking the ball downfield, but he also has the kind of quick feet and change-of-direction ability to mirror underneath, doing a nice job balancing his eyes on the receiver and the backfield. Along with his physical traits, his competitiveness — both against the run and at the catch point — is what stands out. He gets his hands on a lot of passes in the red zone, and he’s a consistent tackler coming up in run support.
You’d like to see Stokes make a few more plays on the ball; he typically plays bail technique and can give too big a cushion, especially on in-breaking routes. Part of that will require a more physical approach at the line of scrimmage, which was not his M.O. at the collegiate level.
While you’d like to see a little more in the playmaking department, Stokes has the tools and mindset to be an immediate starter in the NFL as a boundary corner. He should top out as a quality starter who can handle downfield threats.
Final Grade: 1st/2nd round