Packers Rookie Eric Stokes Gets NFL Crash Course

The Packers are testing corner Eric Stokes in his first training camp. 

With Kevin King out and Jaire Alexander not at 100 percent, rookie corner Eric Stokes has been put through the ringer during his first training camp. In practice, Stokes has been targeted numerous times by Aaron Rodgers while covering the Green Bay Packers number one wide receiver Davante Adams. Now Stokes has experienced firsthand what it is like to face arguably the best pass catcher in the NFL.

“The first time I was going against (Adams), I was like I’m [going to] see what this 99 on madden is talking about,” Stokes told the media on Tuesday. “When he and (Aaron) Rodgers beat me. I just looked and I was like ‘He’s a 99 for a reason’.”

After surrendering a big play, Stokes quickly moved on as he tipped his cap to Adams. A short memory is required for a player in Stokes’ position, but it’s extremely helpful when your next rep is against another veteran capable of giving you crash course in covering an NFL receiver. According to Stokes, you can’t lack confidence when facing the best of the best.

That’s one thing you got to have,” he said. “The moment you start losing confidence is the moment your play starts dropping and that’s one thing I refuse to let happen.”

Sticking with Adams is a difficult task for even the best cover corners in the league. Now imagine what it must feel like for Stokes who is still waiting to see his first game action. In college, Stokes went through a gauntlet of some of the top receivers in the country, including Jerry Jeudy, Justin Jefferson, and Devonta Smith. However, Stokes currently finds himself facing arguably the best in the business on a daily basis. That is one thing his mentor knows all about.

As a fellow first-round pick, Alexander when through the same experience back in 2018. Ultimately, this helped Alexander grow into the top corner he is today and now Stokes hopes to follow in the same footsteps. Stokes said he frequently picks the brain of Alexander while trying to learn the ins and outs of why certain things are done.

As he learns, bad plays will happen but Stokes isn’t going to let anything get the best of him. Rodgers picks on rookies from opposing teams every chance he gets and Stokes happens to be his latest victim. The only difference is Rodgers doesn’t offer advice to opposing players, which is one of the benefits Stokes can use from having him as a teammate.

“He just said he was going to make me better,” Stokes recalled of a conversation he had with Rodgers during practice. “If I got any questions, he said don’t be hesitant to ask him.”

Rodgers knows that Stokes could play a vital role in the Packers 2021 season. If he can help get the rookie up to speed, it will ultimately help the team achieve their ultimate goal.

 

 

 

 

Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.

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9 points

Comments (20)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
LambeauPlain's picture

August 06, 2021 at 12:50 pm

Hey Brandon...did Stokes keep his nickname from college to the Pack? Dirty Red?

It seems like Eric can handle getting his nose skinned. My dad once told me mistakes are a great teacher...just don't let them teach you the same lesson twice.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

August 06, 2021 at 08:42 pm

Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards. – Vern Law

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Packers0808's picture

August 06, 2021 at 01:02 pm

Repeated attacks can make or break a player and his confidence! Hope it makes it!

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dobber's picture

August 06, 2021 at 02:07 pm

You'd hope this is a "safe environment" for it.

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Leatherhead's picture

August 06, 2021 at 01:19 pm

We have a lot of high draft picks in that secondary. Two for Savage, Alexander, Stokes. King was an early second, Jackson a mid second. Amos was a Day Two guy that we signed as a FA. That’s a lot of investment in the secondary, probably more than any other team since 2017.

And we have some adequate pass rushers…..Both Smiths, Clark, Gary. My theory is that if your secondary can cover for that extra half second, then a decent pass rush reaches home more often. I think this Packer team has both ends of a real good pass defense….as long as nobody gets hurt.

You can never have too many guys who can cover and tackle.

9 points
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Matt Gonzales's picture

August 06, 2021 at 04:07 pm

And that isn't accounting for your under the wire guys. Seems like all the DBs are coming into camp hungry to show they belong and eager to fight for spots. I think this could be the deepest backfield GB has fielded in quite a while, and considering the beating they take, it's likely we will see some late round picks and former UDFAs getting meaningful snaps throughout the season.

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jannes bjornson's picture

August 06, 2021 at 09:03 pm

Jackson ain't making the conversation.

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ImaPayne's picture

August 06, 2021 at 02:04 pm

I was hoping at least once we would get a premiere defensive back from the draft but hey you sit back at 26,27,28 the good ones have all been picked over by then Ted, Gutt.
You want quality you move up and get it or STFU with the guy who was left.
For me a 27 pick is no better then number one through five in the second round, kind of a second tier back up person.

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dobber's picture

August 06, 2021 at 02:09 pm

You need to look around and see how many quality DBs come out of the 2nd round and later.

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Packers0808's picture

August 06, 2021 at 02:13 pm

By your remarks record here, I wonder what number you were hired at?

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

August 06, 2021 at 03:28 pm

How about undrafted Tramon Williams and Sam Shields? They each made a Pro Bowl in their career, and were reliable playmakers. They weren't back ups at all.

Plus, you ever look at the number of top CBs that were no where near that good? Look to the west where the Vikings picked Trae Waynes as the first CB taken in his draft. Took him like 3 years to even be a starter and then they let him go after his rookie contract. But Xavier Rhodes, who they picked t #25 a few years earlier was a 3-time Pro Bowler and even an All-Pro.

It doesn't matter where they're drafted. It matters if they can play.

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porupack's picture

August 06, 2021 at 04:18 pm

Draft order is such a perfect mathematical equation. If you're right, just bunch of trash at the end of the 1st round, then UFAs must be 100% busts, just like that shield's guy. You da moneyball GM, man!

2 points
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13TimeChamps's picture

August 06, 2021 at 08:21 pm

Remember the Legion of Boom?

Richard Sherman. Drafted 5th round. 5 Pro Bowls. 5 time All Pro
Kam Chancellor. Drafted 5th round. 4 Pro Bowls. 2 times All Pro

Thinking this yahoo is just trolling?

4 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

August 06, 2021 at 02:32 pm

I'm curious to know how Stokes is doing in comparison to how Alexander was as a rookie.

I think Stokes could be very good, but he will have to learn from his rookie mistakes. When he gets on the field he will be picked on by opposing QB's as well. Having Alexander opposite of him, teams will no question target the rookie. Taking some lumps now going against the best tandem in the league will only make him better!

I'm looking forward to seeing Stokes in game action!

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Packers0808's picture

August 06, 2021 at 02:37 pm

Has to win the job first. Too many horses before the buggy!

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jannes bjornson's picture

August 06, 2021 at 09:06 pm

He and Alexander are the starters. King is best served trying to be a free safety.

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Coldworld's picture

August 06, 2021 at 05:10 pm

Stokes is consistently running with the ones and having highs as well as lows, which I’d expect covering Adams. Exactly what one would expect from a rookie. We still haven’t got to pre season games. Ento is pushing hard, as I thought he might if he remains healthy. Though I had not expected to say this, Jackson may be creeping back into contention. In the middle, Jean-Charles has been up and down behind Sullivan who has been pretty good. The point with Jean Charles is that having ups at this point is good for a later pick. Overall, I’m not too worried about CB.

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NickPerry's picture

August 08, 2021 at 08:53 am

"Though I had not expected to say this, Jackson may be creeping back into contention."

I'm paying close attention to Jackson this season. Personally I think he makes the roster and in THIS scheme, I wouldn't be surprised is he's a contributor. The is a zone heavey scheme, something Jackson actually does well.

I know he hasn't shown much but if Jackson is EVER going to be a contributor to the Packers defense, it's going to start this year in this scheme.

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stockholder's picture

August 06, 2021 at 05:45 pm

It's a Rocky Road. Doesn't surprise me at all. Forget the urgency. #20 has this. I'm more worried about the DL.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

August 06, 2021 at 07:22 pm

I'm just concerned that game 1 will take too frickin long to get here! :)

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