We continue our look at potential draft picks by the New England Patriots. CB Xavier Rhodes played his college career at Florida State, and after receiving a medical redshirt in 2009, he broke out in 2010 winning the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year.
2010: 58 Tackles, 3.5 TLF, 2 Sacks, 4 INT, and 16 PD.
2011: 43 Tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 INT, and 5 PD.
2012: 39 Tackles, 2 TFL, 3 INT, and 10 PD.
Rhodes is an excellent tight coverage corner. He plays all over the WR, and frustrates them with his physicality. Rhodes is 6’2 and 217 pounds. His size and arm length is one of his best qualities that make him an enticing thought for New England.
Rhodes is most likely a 1st round selection behind Dee Milliner, and I believe the second best CB in the draft.
Strengths: Great at press coverage. Jams WR at the line making it hard for them to get off the line,(the kind of thing Pats cornerbacks use to do when they were winning Super Bowls.) Very physical throughout his coverage, and can go up in jump balls and defend it. Excellent pass defender. Has experience lining up in the box at safety, making him versatile, just how the Patriots like.
Weakness: Too physical pass 5 yards, and in a “pro offense league”, his physicality can cost him some penalty yards. Has hands on receivers and bumps them till end of play, which can draw flags. Struggles with closing in on players entering the zone.
The likelihood of the Patriots drafting Rhodes on a scale of 1-10 (1 being least likely and 10 being most likely) is a 6. The reasoning behind that is because Rhodes will probably not be their for New England. Rhodes might be the 2nd corner taken in the draft, and I think only 2 or 3 corners will be taken in the first round. The Patriots will have corner options in the 2nd.