A rookie’s first training camp is never easy. It’s even harder when you’re a rookie DB tasked with covering the NFL’s best wide receiver in your first camp. That’s what Packers rookie Eric Stokes has had to do the past few weeks.
Stokes, Green Bay’s first round pick in this year’s draft, has taken many snaps this preseason lined up across from Davante Adams. Adams has challenged Stokes, burning him on routes and balls quite a few times.
Stokes isn’t the first rookie Green Bay corner that Adams has lit up in training camp. In 2018, rookie Jaire Alexander was tasked with covering Davante on his first day of practice, and Adams torched him. Adams continued to challenge Alexander in his first camp, and it paid off. Alexander finished the 2020 season as an all-pro and is now one of the top corners in the league.
Throughout this year’s training camp, quarterback Aaron Rodgers has constantly tested Stokes when he’s lined up across from Adams, Rodgers’s favorite target. The duo has continued to challenge the young corner, burning him for touchdowns and beautiful catches alike.
When Adams was asked Thursday if Stokes was learning the same way Alexander did, he said, “for sure.” In addition, Adams had high praise for the rookie. “He’s the closest thing to Jaire as far as mentality and ability, from what I’ve seen so far.”
Adams commented on Stokes’s blazing speed, comparing him to former Packers corner Sam Shields. “Kid is fast as hell, he can get beat and recover, kind of like how Sam Shields would do.” Adams then told a story from his rookie year about how he thought he had gotten past Shields on a route and was wide open, but Shields’s speed kept him right in this play.
“I see the same thing with [Stokes],” Adams continued. “He actually made a really good play on me two or three days ago; I had a comeback route on the left sideline, and he made a really good play, was real patient at the top, so I like what I see from him. A lot of the same mentality of Jaire.”
While it may be discouraging for Stokes, Adams is only making Stokes better in the long run. He understands that going against the best in training camp will help him perform his best once the season starts. Adams revealed that after a practice Stokes told him, “Keep getting me better, bro. I appreciate this.”
Adams concluded, “He can really go, so I’m excited to see how [Stokes] looks when we open this thing up.”
This high praise for Stokes from Adams should excite Packer fans. If anyone knows a good corner when they see one, it’s Adams. The all-pro wideout has gone up against the best in the NFL for a while now. If Stokes can become one of them, opposing receivers should be worried.
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