Xavier Rhodes CB Florida State #27
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Size/Athleticism: Elite height for a cornerback. Also possesses impressive leaping ability, giving him rare ability to compete in jump ball situations. Weight looks above average for a cornerback, but it’s inflated by his height. He’s actually a little on the skinny side. Must faster than he is quick. He can get juked in the open field.
Coverage: Inconsistent footwork in coverage. He trusts his raw skills too much and will get beat by more polished receivers who can force him to take a false step. Loves to fight with receivers in press coverage, but his physical style will draw flags at the next level. He can be overaggressive at times, and it will hurt him if he doesn’t tone it down at the next level.
Ball skills: Elite leaping ability, coupled with his height makes him dangerous in jump ball situations. He can go up and at least get a hand on the football when he’s in the right position. Decent hands, and will come down with a few interceptions, but he’ll also drop some. Misses a lot of opportunities by turning his back to the quarterback. He doesn’t read the quarterback with the same consistency as a guy such as Dee Milliner, and as a result Rhodes is often playing the receiver rather than the ball.
Run support: Willing to be physical, but tackling technique is shaky. He’ll lower his shoulder, but he doesn’t wrap guys up. Very inconsistent effort. Often takes poor angles and looks lazy. But when he turns it on, he can close quickly, fight through traffic and even wrap guys up.
Intangibles: Three-year starter, turning pro after junior year.
Durability: Suffered season-ending hand injury in 2009. Suffered knee injury in 2011 bowl game and missed spring practices as a senior.
Comments: With his size/athleticism combination, Rhodes’ potential is through the roof. He could definitely develop into one of the elite corners in the game. However, he is very raw at this stage of his career. He survived in the ACC based off of his elite physical tools, but it won’t be enough at the next level. In 2012, DeAndre Hopkins, one of the most polished route runners in the college game, easily baited Rhodes into false steps to shake free when they were matched up. Rhodes will see more of that at the next level if he doesn’t refine his coverage fundamentals and ability to read receivers.