Eric Stokes had an excellent rookie season for the Green Bay Packers, stepping up when Jaire Alexander and Kevin King got injured.
Stokes showed Pro Bowl potential at his best, but also has plenty of areas to improve.
Is Stokes a breakout candidate for the 2022 season?
Stokes played in 16 games, making 14 starts. He made 55 tackles, 14 pass defenses, and one interception. According to Pro Football Reference, Stokes allowed 49.5% of passes to be completed.
2021 season review
Even as a first-round pick, Stokes exceeded expectations as a rookie.
He wasn’t expected to be a starter right away as the Packers had veterans Jaire Alexander and Kevin King on the outside with Chandon Sullivan in the slot. However, injuries to both Alexander and King forced the Packers to start their rookie.
No problem — Stokes was excellent.
According to Pro Football Focus, Stokes allowed the second-lowest passer rating among rookie cornerbacks. Only Patrick Surtain II allowed a lower passer rating.
Stokes got beat on occasion. All cornerbacks do, especially in their rookie seasons. But he also regularly got his hands to the ball, breaking up 14 passes.
Of course, Alexander’s injury wasn’t good for the Packers. However, one positive was it gave Stokes some much-needed starting reps. And he delivered.
Will he make the roster?
What to expect in 2022
Stokes impressed as a rookie. The Packers will now be hoping he can take that next step.
One area he can improve is forcing turnovers. Stokes got in position to make interceptions last season but missed out on multiple occasions. He only had one interception.
Compare that to Rasul Douglas, who seemingly couldn’t stop intercepting quarterbacks.
It’s an area to work on.
Stokes has a ton of talent and the potential to become a Pro Bowl cornerback. I’m excited to see him line up next to Alexander and Douglas this season.