The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Need to Draft Cornerback Xavier Rhodes

By Scott DelleFave
Xavier Rhodes
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers need defensive back direly after trading away Aqib Talib to the New England Patriots and fellow cornerback EJ Biggers  is also a unrestricted free agent. If the Buccaneers stay at pick 13, Xavier Rhodes who is part of the Florida State Seminoles will fall right in their laps and coach Greg Schiano will be doing back flips as they get a local product not to mention the number two rated cornerback in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Rhodes is best known for his big, physical, imposing frame (6′ 1″ 215 lbs.) who excels at pressing receivers which is extremely rare from college defensive backs these days. He has had some injuries, however, mainly a hand injury and a sprained knee, neither of which will show cause of concern going into the NFL. One of his biggest strengths is that seemingly every play he bangs or jams a wide receiver. Another thing Rhodes does well is he turns to find the football and adjusts well if in the hip pocket of a receiver down the field.

With all the positives, there are always negatives which include Rhodes is very inconsistent on runs to the empty side, loses contain, does not react quickly enough. He misses tackles when lunging at ball carriers and when leaving his feet. That’s not all as Rhodes also can be disinterested when play goes to different receivers he is not responsible for in man coverage and his closing speed lacks urgency. He does not have experience inside as a slot corner in nickel.

All in all, Rhodes seems an all or nothing pick, however with progression the nothing side will seem less and less likely. Rhodes compares to Baltimore Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb

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