Eric Stokes Draft Profile
Some human beings are put on this planet to play football, Eric Stokes is one of those human beings. He is a freak of nature athlete, that is 6’1 195 lbs. and runs a 40 yard dash in the 4.2’s. At Georgia, he played alongside Tyson Campbell who is one of the best DB’s in the draft. The University of Georgia hasn’t put out an elite defensive back since Champ Bailey in the late ‘90s, but Stokes and Campbell have the chance to break that curse.
The instant trait that jumps out when watching Stokes is speed. He might be the fastest player in this year’s draft and his speed will allow him to run side by side with some of the fastest players in the NFL. Everybody is trying to figure out how to stop guys like Tyreek Hill, Eric Stokes might be the answer. Stokes is always around the football, he had four interceptions in his final season at Georgia and two of those he returned for touchdowns. At Georgia, the defense runs a lot of bump and run man coverage, but Stokes could really thrive in a cover three Robert Saleh system. His natural skillset and playmaker mentality makes him a perfect day two fit for the Seahawks and Jets. One thing that a lot of coaches look for in their DB’s is what they’re willing to do; Stokes is willing to make tackles and attack the ball. If put in the right system, Stokes can be a shut down corner in the NFL.
A lot of Stokes’ concerns can be fixed with coaching. He is unbalanced coming out of his stance and struggles against physical receivers. Despite being larger in stature, Stokes gets pushed off by strong receivers. The lack of physicality also appears when being blocked because he struggles to disengage from blocks in order to help out in the run game. Stokes relies a lot on his natural ability, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but with proper coaching he can get so much better.
I believe Stokes would thrive in a scheme change from a man corner to a base cover three corner. Based off of his film, Stokes has a late third round grade, but his natural ability makes his potential so much higher than a third round player’s. If he were to stay in a similar scheme, the Chargers would be perfect and he could play along side my pro comparison for him, Michael Davis. Stokes is a boom or bust corner.
Eyes + Instincts 7.75/10
Ball Skills 7/8
Size + Speed 6.5/7
Man Coverage 4/5
Zone Coverage 3.5/5
Final Rating: 74
Pro Comparison: Michael Davis
Team Fits: Chargers, Seahawks, Jets
Draft Ranking: Late Third Round Pick
Draft Projection: Late Second Round - Early Third Round