DRAFT PROFILE: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
Measurables: 6’1” 185 LBs
Eric Stokes is a 21 year old cornerback for the Georgia Bulldogs. Originally born in Covington, Georgia, Stokes attended Eastside High School where he was a defensive back and also ran track. After redshirting as a true freshman, Stokes had standout sophomore and junior years which culminated in a Second-Team All-SEC recognition in 2019. He returned as a starter in 2020 and during the first game of the season he showed just how much effort he had put into his progression by securing his first career interception, which was returned for a touchdown. Prior to the 2020 campaign, the talk of the class was Patrick Surtain II (Alabama) and Caleb Farley (Virginia Tech) and even his running mate, Tyson Campbell, were all getting a higher projection than Stokes. He finished the year by silencing his critics, who said he couldn’t convert turnovers, by securing 4 interceptions in route to a consensus top 20 prospect grade. Stokes can mirror any press position and play in both zone and man coverage with plus coverage grades. Although many want Stokes to be a lockdown corner, that’s just not who he will be at the next level. Stokes would benefit from being drafted to a predominately zone scheme where his lack of elite play speed and lack of elite short-area, explosive speed can be covered.
- Ball Skills
- Press Coverage
- Plus zone/man grades
- Peaky eyes
- Grabby hands
Gareon Conley. Good size and athleticism combo who excels in press coverage with average tackling. Can play both man and zone at an average level but isn’t elite at either. Lacks elite, game breaking, speed and tries to cover it up with his physicality and has a bad habit of getting grabby at the line of scrimmage. Overall, has a plus grade for the position, but has some flaws to take seriously at the next level.
Top 30. Stokes isn’t a perfect prospect and it’s unfair to grade him against Surtain, Farley or Horn because that’s not who his play resembles. Stokes is going to be an above average corner at the next level, possibly even elite if he lands in the right scheme, but he has to have a good DB coach to help him fix the flaws that he has in the short term. The Gareon Conley comp may scare away some folks but Conley didn’t have the DB coach that he needed to fix his game and still doesn’t in Houston. Stokes, like Conley, could be great because he has good hips, good back pedal, is great in press coverage, and has shown versatility in coverage to swing inside and cover on the outside.
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