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Packers fill defensive need with 1st Round draft pick Eric Stokes

FILE - In this Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020 file photo, Georgia defensive back Eric Stokes (27)...
FILE - In this Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020 file photo, Georgia defensive back Eric Stokes (27) returns an interception for a touchdown against Arkansas during an NCAA college football game in Fayetteville, Ark. Daniel Jeremiah noted that Georgia teammates Tyson Campbell and Eric Stokes plus Florida State’s Asante Samuel Jr. as cornerbacks who could still be available early in the second round. The Packers could use some cornerback help and also would like to boost their depth on both sides of the line of scrimmage. (AP Photo/Michael Woods, File)(Michael Woods | AP)
Published: Apr. 29, 2021 at 11:00 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 30, 2021 at 12:56 AM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - There was no trade for MVP Aaron Rodgers. And for the first time in his four years as general manager, Brian Gutekunst didn’t make a trade in the first round. He let the board come to him all the way down at 29.

The Green Bay Packers took Georgia cornerback Eric Stokes with their first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. He’ll wear the #21 jersey.

Stokes made 15 tackles last season. ESPN reports he’s capable of knocking the ball loose. He had four picks, returning two of them for touchdowns. The 6′1″ speedster was actually recruited to Georgia from a track meet.

This pick has an eye towards the 2022 season. As of right now, the Packers have just two corners under contract for that season: Jaire Alexander and Kadar Hollman.

In a phone call with reporters, Stokes talked about watching Alexander and described him as greedy and hungry. “Alexander is one of the best if not the best in the league,” he said. Stokes added he’s ready to learn from the best Packers.

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst praised his first-round choice: “His explosiveness is off the charts. He’s a strong, strong athlete.”

Gutekunst added, “He fit our profile for a player but as a person.”

Cover 2 contributors Rob Demovsky and Jason Wilde both noted the Packers have used 9 of their last 10 first-round picks on a defensive player.

The Packers’ next scheduled pick is 30th in Round 2, the 62nd pick overall. Packers picks, as of Thursday night:

Round 1: 30 (30th overall)

Round 2: 30 (62nd overall)

Round 3: 29 (92nd overall)

Round 4: 30 (135th overall)

Round 4: 37 (142nd overall)

Round 5: 29 (173rd overall)

Round 5: 34 (178th overall)

Round 6: 30 (214th overall)

Round 6: 36 (220th overall)

Round 7: 29 (256th overall)

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