Rant Sports 2013 NFL Mock Draft: Miami Dolphins Select Xavier Rhodes at No. 12

By Stephen Conway
Bob Donnan-USA Today Sports

With the 12th overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft, the Miami Dolphins will select Xavier Rhodes out of Florida State.

Rhodes, ranked number two among cornerbacks in the draft behind Dee Milliner, has gotten criticism as being possibly one of the “busts” in this year’s draft. Many people don’t buy into the hype on the kid, but when you look at the scouting report, it’s hard not to like this kid.

It’s no question that the Dolphins are in dire need for a cornerback. Appearing very thin at the position, fans and analysts alike have wanted the Dolphins to get a lock down corner if not in free agency, which they were unsuccessful in doing, in the draft. Rhodes can be that guy.

Rhodes, strong for his size, loves to jam and gets physical with receivers. He continues to stay aggressive through the whistle, and with his incredible arm length, it’s tough to get past him cleanly at the line of scrimmage. Rhodes in instinctive, with good leaping ability and shows excellent awareness of the ball. His ball skills help him in becoming an excellent man to man coverage corner, and when possible, he can punish the receiver with big hits. The other thing that scouts like about Rhodes is his experience. In 39 starts with Florida State, Rhodes racked up eight interceptions, and 31 passes deflected.

Just like physicality is one of his strengths, it’s also one of his weaknesses, too. Rhodes sometimes gets caught being too physical and aggressive, which cost him during his collegiate career. Rhodes needs to be better disciplined, but there’s no question that he has great potential in the NFL.

The Dolphins should pick up Rhodes because he is a stud in the making for the NFL. In a league that changes all the time, physical corners are desired greatly, and Rhodes is just that, but he can also be that lockdown receiver that Miami has so desperately wanted.

At No. 13, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select…

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