With the NFL Draft kicking off shortly, it's time to get a feel for some of the players in this year's class.
Xavier Rhodes is a cornerback from Florida State who is skipping his senior season to join the league.
He has all of the physical tools to be an All-Pro corner for a long time. Some scouts believe Rhodes should play safety in the NFL, but he has the ability to cover any type of player receiving the ball.
Only time will tell where Xavier Rhodes ends up in tonight's Draft.
Xavier Rhodes: The Vitals
Weight: 210 pounds
School: Florida State
College Production / Stats
2010: 58 tackles, 12 pass deflections, 4 INTs
2011: 43 tackles, 4 pass deflections, 1 INT
2012: 39 tackles, 7 pass deflections, 3 INTs
CAREER: 140 tackles (7 for loss), 23 pass deflections, 8 INT's, 2 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 forced fumble
Xavier Rhodes is a big, strong, physical corner that excels in play at the line of scrimmage. He will jam a receiver of any size. His ability to knock receivers off of their routes is uncanny. Rhodes will simply not let you get open. He doesn't make the flashy plays we've seen from Tyrann Mathieu or Asante Samuel.
Xavier Rhodes is like Darrelle Revis -- in the sense that he's boring; the ball rarely gets thrown his way because the receiver is rarely open.
Rhodes is an extremely adequate player in run support. He gets off blocks pretty well, and is an excellent form tackler. With his combination of size, speed, and power, it is realistic to believe that Rhodes could translate well into a safety in the NFL.
While Rhodes has no obvious flaws, he struggles with ball awareness. He's been exposed on certain plays in which he plays perfect defense, but doesn't know where the ball is, so it drops right over his shoulder into the arms of the opposing receiver.
This weakness is most likely due to the short amount of time Xavier has spent as a defensive back. Rhodes was recruited to the Seminoles as a wide receiver, and was quickly converted to a corner.
Xavier Rhodes is not a playmaker at this point in his career. He lacks the hands to snag passes that many other corners would, especially given Rhodes' extreme height, length, and reach. It simply seems that Xavier isn't accustomed or comfortable with having the ball near him.
Potential Landing Spots
Good cornerbacks are hard to come by in the NFL, so a lot of teams could use a guy like Rhodes. Xavier is clearly a man-to-man, physical corner. Thus, the Steelers (17), Colts (24), and Patriots (29) are the most realistic and likely landing spots for Xavier Rhodes.
MID-TO-LATE FIRST ROUND PICK: Rhodes' stock hasn't really skyrocketed or plummeted in the months leading up to the draft. Critics, experts, and other sources agree that NFL teams know what they're getting with Xavier Rhodes.
Brandon Carr, CB, Dallas Cowboys