Green Bay Packers Hope Speedy Draft Pick Eric Stokes Will Make Their Secondary Elite

 Green Bay Packers Hope Speedy Draft Pick Eric Stokes Will Make Their Secondary Elite

Tom Brady went to work on Kevin King in the NFC Championship Game.

Brady picked on Chandon Sullivan throughout.

The Green Bay Packers clearly believed they needed to improve their secondary to keep up with the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers. So in the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday, the Packers selected cornerback Eric Stokes of Georgia with the 29th overall pick.

The 6-foot-1, 194-pound Stokes is a former high school track star who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.25 seconds at Georgia’s pro day. That time is believed to be the fastest by any player at a pro day in the 2021 draft.

“People finally seeing my speed for sure,” Stokes said before the draft. “They’re finally acknowledging it, like not pushing it aside. They actually see I’m really that fast. It’s amazing.”

Stokes’ vertical jump was recorded at 38.5 inches, while he posted a 10-8 broad jump. 

Stokes started 25 games in three seasons at Georgia and finished his career with four interceptions, 26 passes defensed and 78 tackles.

Scouts believe Stokes can mirror receivers from a press position. But he can get “grabby” at the top of the route and doesn’t always play to his timed speed.

“Speed, speed and more speed is the first thing he can bring,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said of Stokes. “He’s a high-character young man who has brought so much to our program.”

Opposing quarterbacks had a passer rating of 93.8 against the Packers last year, which ranked 13th overall. While cornerback Jaire Alexander is one of the best in the business, King and Sullivan have been exposed.

Green Bay hopes the speedy Stokes solves some of those issues.

“I pretty much believe I’m one of the best. I’m trying to solidify that I’m not that underrated,” Stokes said after his pro day. “I’m athletic, but everything else I’m going to work on. I am going to continue to grow as a player and a person.”