The New York Jets have struggled to lock down a big-time in two seasons under general manager Joe Douglas. Last year, he opted to sign Pierre Desir over James Bradberry, a move that turned out to be a massive loss. This year, Douglas has not landed a top-flight cornerback in free agency either. This turns their attention to the 2021 NFL Draft.
One player who is soaring up draft boards, fitting the defensive scheme of new head coach Robert Saleh, is Georgia cornerback Eric Stokes. After displaying immense improvements on tape this year with the Bulldogs, Stokes then went on to blaze his own path at both the House of Athletes combine, and at his pro day.
Here we take a deep look at Stokes and how he might fit with the Gang Green in the Big Apple.
Looking at the numbers for Stokes
This past season, Stokes put his excellent and improved ball skills on display as he played on an island in Athens, Georgia. He racked up an extraordinary four interceptions, returning two for touchdowns, and four passes defended in nine games this season with the Bulldogs. He then took his elite box score, and then tested like an elite athlete as well.
At his pro day, Stokes ran a blazing 4.25 second 40 yard dash, testing in the top five percent in his 10 and 20 yard splits as well. He then tested in the top 12.5 percent and eight percent historically for cornerbacks in both his vertical jump (38.5 inches) and his broad jump (10-foot-8) respectively. While he did not do agility drills, these numbers push Stokes to the top one percent historically in athletic ability, hitting a 9.99 Relative Athletic Score.
On paper, Stokes is a top cornerback in this 2021 NFL Draft class. Does it translate to the film? We take a look there next.