2013 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

by Cory J. Bonini on March 6, 2013 @ 17:44:55 PDT

 


Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes declared for the 2013 NFL Draft following his junior season.

Rhodes racked up 39 tackles, three interceptions, seven pass breakups and a forced fumble in 2012. He finished his Seminoles career with eight interceptions.

Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Experienced, with lengthy frame

Strengths

  • Good size (6-foot-2, 210 pounds)
  • Long arms (33 3/4 inches)
  • Adequate straight-line speed (4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash)
  • Experienced - 39 career starts
  • Excels in press coverage and jamming receivers at the line
  • Plants and drives to the ball
  • Mirrors wide receivers very well
  • Adept at locating the ball (31 career passes defensed)
  • Instinctual in coverage
  • Very good leaping ability (40 1/2-inch vertical jump)

Weaknesses

  • Underwent knee surgery after 2011 season
  • Needs to lower his hips and flip more fluidly in his transition
  • Can be overly aggressive and bite on play fakes
  • Hand checks too much - could struggle with pass interference penalties in the NFL
  • Occasionally undisciplined in zone coverage and in containment role against the run
  • Can be a hard hitter but often lunges and misses tackles
  • Limited to press coverage in the NFL

Expected draft placement

Rhodes brings size and aggressive play on the outside to the pros, but his negatives are numerous. In the right system, namely a press coverage scheme, Rhodes could excel in the NFL.

The earliest Rhodes is likely to come off the board is No. 29 overall to the New England Patriots. Otherwise, next on the list is just a pick later to the Atlanta Falcons, a team looking to employ more press coverage. Rhodes is probably a second-round pick based on all of his potential drawbacks.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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