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Cheese Curds, 5/19: Eric Stokes has a lot more than just pure speed

The Packers’ first-rounder has tremendous acceleration to go along with a blazing 40 time.

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House of Athlete Scouting Combine Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

There is a long way to go before Eric Stokes will prove whether he is worthy of a first-round draft pick. The Green Bay Packers’ rookie cornerback has participated in just two practices, both in last weekend’s rookie minicamp, but the tools that made him an early selection stood out.

Head coach Matt LaFleur complimented Stokes’ ability to move, but he’s more than just a burner who runs the 40-yard dash with sub-4.3 times. He’s an explosive player, one who is capable of getting to that top speed particularly quickly thanks to exceptional acceleration.

As Stokes noted when speaking to the media on Friday following his first Packers practice, he would prefer not to use his vast physical tools, planning instead to play with great technique. But his innate athletic abilities should give him the ability to recover from a mistake better than other players at his position.

Let’s take a closer look at Stokes from one of the former pros who helped train him this winter and check out a few of his new coach’s comments.

How 'explosive' Eric Stokes got Packers' attention before NFL draft - ESPN
Ryan Clark, whom Aaron Rodgers victimized frequently in Super Bowl XLV, worked with Stokes and some other corners in the lead-up to the 2021 Draft. Not only is Stokes incredibly fast, but Clark says he's "freakishly explosive," which he distinguishes as being different from "freakishly athletic." The former allows Stokes to close distances in a flash, even from a dead stop.

Matt LaFleur’s first impression of Packers rookies Eric Stokes, Amari Rodgers | Packers Wire
Indeed, the Packers' head coach was impressed by Stokes' ability to cover ground, saying "he's not too threatened by guys running by him."

Scouts on Packers Rookie Center Josh Myers: ‘Tough, Smart, Physical’ - Sports Illustrated
Scouts differed on whether Myers or Creed Humphrey, who went to Kansas City one pick later, was the better selection. Either way, it sounds like if the Packers went in a different direction, Myers probably would not have lasted much longer.

The Cowboys, Bills, Chiefs, Rams and Seahawks traded picks for stars: 5th-year options and re-thinking the NFL draft – The Athletic (subscription)
More and more, teams have been willing to trade first-round picks to acquire star players. Look at the Bills with Stefon Diggs, the Cowboys for Amari Cooper, the Seahawks (two firsts) for Jamal Adams...don't expect the Packers to be involved in one of those trades, though.

Quebec dairy group looks to obtain official designation to protect poutine's identity - CityNews Toronto
Just like bourbon is defined in law as an American-made product, Canada is seeking to define poutine as quintessentially and formally Canadian.