Erik Stokes was selected 29th overall by Green Bay Packers in the 2021 NFL entry draft. This player was largely valued due to his blazing speed, but how fast did Erik Stokes run the forty-yard dash.
Erik Stokes ran an unofficial 4.25 40-yard dash at the Georgia Bulldogs pro day. Though unofficial this is still an incredibly fast time for a player of any position.
It is important to remember that this was an unofficial 40 yard dash time. When players run the forty-yard dash at the NFL combine they are given an official time.
This time is considered official because the NFL measures these times using lasers. The lasers allow the NFL to measure the millisecond the player crosses the line to start and end the event.
This is a much more accurate method than the traditional handheld stopwatch.
The 2021 NFL combine was cancelled which meant that players were not able to record an official forty time.
Instead, they had to perform these drills at their college pro days. Pro days are an event in which players looking to enter the NFL draft perform drills at their college in front of scouts.
The 40-yard dash at pro days is measured via stopwatch which creates some inaccurate results. With how small the margins are with 40-yard dashes a handheld stopwatch can greatly change the results.
Pre Draft Strengths And Weaknesses
Combination of speed/quickness to play inside or outside
Prior to the draft scouts and analysts believed that Stokes had the skills to play as an outside corner as well as a slot corner.
This reasoning was largely due to the speed that Stokes has. Though once he made it to the NFL Stokes has stayed on the outside.
Though he likely could perform well in the slot this player has some great attributes that allow him to succeed on the outside. His long-range and vertical speed make him a great choice for the outside corner.
And so far this is where the Packers are keeping him.
Stands his ground against physical targets
Scouts liked the physical nature that Stokes brought to the defense especially out of the cornerback position.
His ability to be physical was certainly led up to in his rookie season as he allowed the lowest yac of any rookie cornerbacks that played 200 coverage snaps.
Potential for gunner duties on punt team
Due to his speed and physicality, some believed that stokes would play a role on special teams specifically as a gunner.
This was attempted in the preseason before his rookie year but it did not last. As Stokes started to perform on the field as a cornerback the Packers released it was better to keep this player healthy and keep him off special teams.
Mostly “right place, right time” interceptions
One of the critiques regarding Eric Stokes entering the draft was that the majority of his college interceptions were based on being in the right place at the right time.
In his rookie season, Stokes was able to get one interception, though it was a nice play in which he locked the receiver down and then jumped the route.
Though it is also worth noting that Stokes led the league with four dropped interceptions in his rookie season.
Opponents run through solo tackle tries
Entering the draft scouts and NFL teams were worried about Stokes’s ability to make solo tackles. As we stated earlier in the article Stokes ultimately performed incredibly well in the tackling department.
Leading all rookie corners with 2.69 yards allowed after the catch per reception.