*CB grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, Wonderlic test results leaked, etc. We will update info as it becomes available. 

NFL Draft 2021 Scouting Report: CB Eric Stokes, Georgia

*CB grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, Wonderlic test results leaked, etc. We will update info as it becomes available. 


Having just completed my Eric Stokes study/scouting, two thoughts prevail…

1) Every time I turn around, there’s another CB prospect popping up in the 1st-round of 2021 NFL Mock Drafts. We have Farley-Surtain-Horn-Samuel as the holy top 4 (for the consensus, not me, per se) since 2021 started. And now Greg Newsome and Eric Stokes have ‘run’ their way into many 1st-round mocks.

It’s possible that nearly 20% of the 1st-round of the 2021 NFL Draft will be cornerbacks.

Looking at the other positions…

-I haven’t been too overwhelmed with what I’ve seen of the D-Line group, especially the pass rushers this draft year.

-It’s a weak year for EDGE rushers, that I’ve seen so far.

-Other than Micah Parsons at ILB, it’s just suspects otherwise (still have studying to do here).

-And safeties shouldn’t be 1st-round picks unless they are mega elites…and I don’t think there is one of those this year.

So, on the defensive side of things…there’s not a ton of high-end talent at any other position, but there’s a glut, a flood of good+ cornerbacks hitting the market/draft in 2021.

As young people desire to play football…and want to play wide receiver more than any other position – it’s only natural that the youth wide receivers who have bad hands are moving to cornerback. It’s going to become a debate on how highly you should rank a 2021 CB prospect in a mock draft…because of the sheer volume of good+ options out there.

2) Eric Stokes…I think he might be the best corner prospect of the 2021 class.

It’s a battle, for me, between two top guys at the top at CB – Stokes and Aaron Robinson (so far). I still believe that Aaron Robinson is the best CB prospect I’ve seen…the best pure cover guy – but he has some red flag issues as well, off the field at a minimum. But if you want one CB to stop a critical pass on an elite WR…I believe it’s Robinson. However, I do have to scouting-discount Robinson some for his off-field worries (see his report for more info on that, if you haven’t already).

But the CB prospect who might grow into the best of the 2021 crop is Stokes. The best movement, natural skills is arguably Stokes over the other top guys. There are many good movement corners in this draft, good-to-great athletes…but Stokes, to me, is better than all of them. None of the top guys move quite like Stokes.

If you believe he has the best movement skills, that’s fine – but you then have to answer the ‘can he cover?’ question. There are plenty of nice athletes at corner who are lost trying to cover WRs. I don’t think Stokes is a letdown there.

Watching Stokes’ tape…he’s just so athletic in his ability to mirror/run with/chase any WR of any size or skillset. Watching him against Alabama in 2020, matching up with DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle…you could see the potential greatness, the natural ability and the existing athletic prowess. Not many can hang with DeVonta Smith, but Stokes was all over him when he drew Smith in coverage. Smith did score a TD against Stokes, but that’s one of those things where ‘stats’/results/‘metrics’ inadvertently lie. Stokes had near-perfect coverage on Smith on the TD play. Smith was not open on a 10+ yard shot into the end zone – but the ball was thrown in the most perfect spot and Smith made a terrific leaping play up and over Stokes for a TD. It counts as a ‘bad outcome’ for Stokes but watching the coverage from snap to TD – it was really good/great coverage displayed by Stokes. And Stokes was all over Smith and Jaylen Waddle in this game…he was the difficult matchup for the Alabama WRs.

The reason I believe Stokes should/can be promoted as the top corner, among so many good ones – you have the elite movement skills, but you also have Stokes growing into the position exponentially. Stokes was a skinny 3-star speedster seen as a track guy coming out of high school. His speed had people interested, but his body and experience didn’t thrill anyone.

Georgia purposefully grabbed him based on that speed with a plan to develop him as a corner. Stokes redshirted 2017, beefed up his body, and was brought along slowly in his redshirt freshman 2018 season…but then he caught fire and became a DB fixture from late 2018 season on. In 2020, he was a no-fly-zone type of corner. Rarely thrown at, with very little success against him – and 4 picks - with two of them returned for TDs in 9 games.

I was enamored with how smoothly he moved in coverage on his game tape. There are a lot of fast guys, and some very agile guys among the top CB group…but Stokes’s movement was different, to me, from 30-seconds into watching his tape. The athleticism is there. The size is there. The skill is pretty well there…and he is still getting used to playing corner. There is room for him to grow. With his high-end physical abilities, his natural cover/mirroring skills already, and with room to grow as a cover corner – he’s a definite top CB prospect in the draft contender.

Plus, in addition to his natural abilities, he is beloved by coaches for his work ethic and ability to learn and implement techniques and plans – the Georgia coaches will rave about Stokes to any team asking, and NFL people will love to talk with him. He’s a really nice, pleasant young man conversing with the media.

Aaron Robinson is still the best CB prospect, in my mind…today. But in 2-3-4 years, I could see it being Eric Stokes as the top cornerback name/reality from this class.


Eric Stokes, Through the Lens of Our CB Scouting Algorithm:

 -- Comparing some key metrics among top CB prospects (among those who have a Pro Day in the books)…

6’0.5”/194, 4.31 40-time, 78.0” wingspan, 38.5” vertical, 6.96 three-cone = Eric Stokes

6’0.2”/192, 4.39 40-time, 73.8” wingspan, 40” vertical, 6.90 three-cone = Greg Newsome

5’10.1”/180, 4.41 40-time, 72.3” wingspan, 35” vertical, 6.98 three-cone = Asante Samuel

Farley-Surtain-Horn are going to have a hard time topping Stokes-Newsome. I bet they skip some of the drills/times to avoid the comparisons. 

Stokes is the fastest of the fast…with a big wingspan. 

 -- 17 PDs in a 14-game stretch from his freshman to sophomore seasons…and then teams started going away from him. 

 -- 0-2 solo tackles in a game in eight of 9 games in 2020…because he was a no-fly zone (my opinion). Stokes had much more tackle activity when he was being tested 2018-2019. He’s an average/OK tackler overall. 

2021 Pro Day:

6’0.5”/194, 9.1” hands, 32.8” arms

4.31 40-time, 1.50 10-yard

4.36 shuttle, 6.96 three-cone

14 bench reps, 38.5” vertical, 10’8” broad jump

The Historical CB Prospects to Whom Eric Stokes Most Compares Within Our System:

I could see Stokes as a better Marcus Lattimore after 2-3 years in the league for Stokes.

CB Grade



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Cover Rating

Speed Metrics

Agility Metric

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Ohio State












C. Michigan












Ohio St








*The ratings are based on a 1–10 rating scale, but a prospect can score over 10.0+ and less than 0.0

OVERALL RATING -- We merge the data from physical measurables, skill times/counts from the NFL Combine/Pro Days, with college performance data available on pass coverage/tackles, etc. and grade it compared to our database history of all college CBs, with a focus on which CBs went on to be good-great-elite in the NFL. We found characteristics/data points that the successful NFL CBs had in common in college, that most other CB prospects could not match/achieve.

Scoring with a rating over a 7.00+ in our system is where we start to take a CB prospect more seriously. Most of the future NFL successful college CBs scored 8.00+, and most of the NFL superior CBs pushed scores more in the 9.00+ levels...and future NFL busts will sneak in there from time to time. 10.00+ is where most of the elite NFL CBs tend to score in our system analysis.

COVERAGE -- A combination of on-field data/performance and physical profile data

SPEED -- Measurables from a perspective of straight-line speed, burst, etc.

AGILITY -- Measurables for lateral movements, quick cuts, body type, speed, etc. 

POWER -- A look at physical size, tackling productivity in college, other physical measurables. One of the side benefits/intentions here, is to see which CBs may be more of a model for a conversion to playing safety successfully in the NFL. Also denotes CBs who are more physical/will have higher tackle totals...over pure speed/coverage CBs.

2021 NFL Draft Outlook:

Most rating services had Stokes as a 4th+ round prospect before his Pro Day, but now they’ve moved him into the 2nd-3rd-round after his impressive Pro Day. Our own Xavier Cromartie is among the ones seeing the market move on Stokes, as he has moved him into the 1st-round (#24 to PIT, as of this writing). The mainstream is late on Stokes, as of this writing. I think Stokes will be a 1st-rounder in the end.

If I were an NFL GM, I’m watching the Stokes market with great interest. If I could get him as a late 1st-round pick, in this draft, I’d be a buyer. If he falls into the 2nd-round...I’m moving up to get him. 

NFL Outlook:   

He’s going to be a ‘good’ corner, at minimum. He might be great. In his year 2-3, we’ll see if he makes the leap. Such a great piece of partially raw clay to work with here.