With there being no official NFL Combine this year because of the pandemic, pro prospects have had to put extra emphasis on showcasing their skills during their respective school’s Pro Day. Georgia cornerback Eric Stokes decided to train in South Florida this year, running in Brandon Marshall’s House of Athlete 40-yard dash. Stokes ran an unofficial 4.25-second 40, which would be the third-fastest in combine history.
Fans on Twitter reacted promptly to Stokes’ impressive initial run, putting all eyes on him at Georgia’s March 17 Pro Day. Stokes continued to impress, running the 40-yard dash twice, again clocking as fast as a 4.25 followed by a 4.29, according to the NFL.
“I pretty much believe I’m one of the best. I’m trying to solidify that I’m not that underrated,” said Stokes. “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.”
Stokes’ vertical jump was recorded at 38.5 inches, while he posted a 10-8 broad jump. He has proven that he is as athletic as they come at the cornerback position. Stokes stands at just over six-feet tall, weighing 194 pounds, giving him good size and length for the position. Stokes has most likely improved his draft stock from his eye-popping numbers, but he still has areas to improve in as well.
“I know for a fact that I have to improve my ball skills,” said Stokes. “Today, all the speed is great… but me dropping things that I know for a fact I’ve [done] over and over again, that’s the thing that is going to eat me alive the most. All I’m thinking about is the things that I did not do well today.”
Stokes did drop a few balls in position drills. His stats should speak for themselves though. Stokes was tied for second in the SEC in interceptions this past season with four picks. He took two of those back for touchdowns, showcasing his speed again.
The Covington, Ga. product has now gone from a 3-star recruit to an almost guaranteed day-two NFL Draft pick. Most mock drafts have Stokes going in the mid-to-late second round, but don’t be surprised if Stokes starts to move up draft boards. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart was impressed by the numbers but added more perspective on Stokes as a prospect.
“People talk about the value on the field and the plays he’s made and the speed he has,” said Smart on Stokes. “For all those things he’s great at, he’s a lot better person than anything else. He’s meant a lot to our organization. He’ll mean a lot to the next organization he goes to both on and off the field.”