Roundup: Packers sign first-round CB Eric Stokes

Green Bay's first-round pick is under contract.

The Packers have signed Georgia cornerback Eric Stokes, the team announced Wednesday.

Green Bay spent the 29th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on the Bulldogs defender, reinforcing a position group that proved itself to be a weakness with the Packers on the doorstep of the Super Bowl. Stokes will likely compete with returning starter Kevin King, who had a nightmarish afternoon against the Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game, for the starting cornerback position opposite Jaire Alexander.

Though it was the second straight first-round pick spent on a player who will not receive passes or handoffs from Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay's selection of Stokes made sense in the short term. Should the Packers receive solid or even stellar play from Stokes in 2021 and beyond, it will have been a pick well spent.

Elsewhere around the NFL on Wednesday:

  • Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw was absent from Wednesday's practice for precautionary reasons. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Darrisaw still has some scar tissue breaking up from core muscle surgery he underwent in January. Darrisaw was selected by Minnesota with the No. 23 pick in the 2021 draft.
  • The Chicago Bears signed five draft picks to rookie deal: fifth-round tackle Larry Borom, sixth-round running back Khalil Herbert, sixth-round receiver Dazz Newsome, sixth-round cornerback Thomas Graham Jr. and seventh-round nose tackle Khyiris Tonga. Newsome also broke his collarbone in Tuesday's practice and will under go surgery Thursday, Pelissero reported. The rookie is looking at an eight-week recovery.
  • The Cincinnati Bengals announced the signings of first-round pick Ja'Marr Chase and third-round pick Joseph Ossai. Their entire draft class is now under contract. Cincinnati also placed long snapper Dan Godsil on the reserve/retired list.
  • The San Franchise 49ers announced the signing of linebacker James Burgess to a one-year deal and the retirement of offensive lineman Weston Richburg. The 49ers signed former Titans tight end MyCole Pruitt, Pelissero reported via Pruitt's agent. Pruitt is a six-season veteran who's played for four teams, including Tennessee over the previous three years. The team later announced the one-year signing.
  • The Baltimore Ravens signed undrafted free-agent defensive tackle Jovan Swann and waived defensive tackle Braxton Hoyett. Defensive tackle Xavier Kelly and wide receiver Donte Sylencieux cleared waivers and reverted to the Ravens' injured reserve list.
  • The Carolina Panthers signed undrafted free-agent wide receiver C.J. Saunders and waived quarterback Tommy Stevens.
  • The Los Angeles Rams signed fourth-round defensive back Robert Rochell and defensive back Dayan Lake.
  • The Detroit Lions announced Wednesday they have waived defensive tackle John Atkins. Atkins started six games for the Lions in 2019, but was a 2020 opt-out.
  • The Las Vegas Raiders are signing tight end Alex Ellis, who's previously played for the Jaguars, Chiefs and Eagles.

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