The news that Packers QB Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay dominated the pre-draft coverage. However, as they have done over the past few seasons, Packers management ignored all the rumors and picked another defensive player.
Georgia cornerback Eric Stokes was the 29th pick of the NFL Draft. When his name was announced, Green Bay Packers fans across the world cried.
The Packers do need a cornerback after starting CB Kevin King had another mediocre year. Fans were hoping that by drafting an offensive weapon for Rodgers, it would help repair the relationship between the franchise and its star quarterback.
How will Eric Stokes help the Packers in his rookie year?
The answer is probably not much. The Packers re-signed Kevin King to a one-year deal, hoping he will improve his play from 2020. (Or they will likely let him go).
Stokes is obviously an insurance policy and a pick for the future of the franchise.
He had an impressive college career. Stokes was a second-team All-SEC selection in 2020 after leading his team with four interceptions and returning two for touchdowns. The star corner also broke up four passes and made 20 tackles in nine starts for the Bulldogs.
If injuries hit the Packers secondary, he could be called into action in his rookie year.
Predictions for his first season with the Packers
If you ask the Packers front office, they would be hoping Eric Stokes is not required to play much in 2021.
He has plenty of upside, but the Packers are built to win now (assuming Rodgers stays.) So, I wouldn't expect Stokes to be too involved during his rookie season.
Starting cornerback Kevin King has been error and injury prone, which may lead to Stokes getting the opportunity for some serious game time. The Packers defense was much improved last year and it's a great landing spot for the dynamic cornerback.