2013 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Xavier Rhodes

February 18th, 2013

How early will Xavier Rhodes be selected in the 2013 NFL Draft? (photo courtesy of sportstalkflorida.com)

DraftBrowns.com Editor: Brendan Leister

In today’s NFL, it seems that more and more teams are looking for big, physical cornerbacks that can come up and press wide receivers at the line of scrimmage.  Xavier Rhodes can do just that.  After a season in which he produced 3 interceptions, 10 passes defensed, and a forced fumble, Rhodes is taking his talents to the NFL.

At 6’2, 217 lbs., Xavier Rhodes is one of the biggest cornerback prospects in the 2013 NFL Draft class.  He possesses the combination of length and strength to come up and press wide receivers at the line of scrimmage.  Rhodes shows an interest in the run game.  He consistently makes tackles in space; something that many cornerbacks don’t do.  One of Rhodes’ best traits is his leaping ability.  He is an extremely explosive leaper and he consistently goes up and highpoints the football while showing excellent ball skills.

The biggest question with Xavier Rhodes is his long speed.  He has good short area quickness and he’s very aware in zones.  However, he can be susceptible when matched up in man-to-man coverage with a wide receiver that attacks him vertically.  These traits force me to believe that Rhodes’ potential lies in one of two situations.  He either belongs in a defense that predominantly plays bump and run and/or Cover 2 or he needs to make a transition to free safety at the next level.  Either situation would fit Rhodes’ talents extremely well and allow him to flourish.

Xavier Rhodes has a lot of talent, but it’s extremely difficult to forecast where he’ll be drafted when April rolls around.  I believe that he could be selected at any point between the middle of the first round to the middle of the third round.

Xavier Rhodes Scouting Notes

Wake Forest 2012:

Presses WR at the LOS, covers him man-to-man downfield, turns back for ball, jumps up and knocks the ball away with one hand at its highest point.

Covers WR man-to-man down the seam.  QB overthrows pass, but Rhodes goes up and knocks the ball away at its highest point showing excellent leaping ability and ball skills.

Clemson 2012:

Does a good job of sticking on WR’s inside hip in press man coverage as he turns and runs with WR.  He turns to look for the ball and sees the TE wide open behind him.  He dives and tries to break up the pass, but can’t get there.  Play results in a TD.

Up in press man coverage on the WR, allows WR to cross his face on the slant, but breaks up the pass.  Pass was thrown a little behind WR.

USF 2012:

Shows some nastiness, throwing the WR to the ground on the first play of the game as the ball carrier gets tackled to the ground.

Takes a couple of false steps inside and reacts to a sweep slowly.  Allows run to get outside because he wasn’t able to set the edge.

Turns and runs while blanketing the WR down the field.  Turns around and locates the ball, jumps up and lays out to intercept the pass.

Miami 2012:

Does a poor job of keeping good technique as WR runs a slant and go.  Rhodes takes  a hop step forward and the WR accelerates past him.  Rhodes does a good job of staying with him for the most part, but still gets beat.  Play results in an incompletion as WR drops the pass while diving for it.

Left the game with an injury two times.

Tags: 2013 Cornerback Prospects, First Round Pick, Florida State, NFL Draft, Profile Profile, Xavier Rhodes

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