Adam has been absolutely killing it with his ‘Draft Target’ posts. Come April 25th, there will likely be no one the readers here at VT haven’t heard of the way he’s been rolling these things out. But I can’t let him have all the fun, right? Plus, I need to get my studying on as in a few days I will be representing Vikings Territory for the second time in #MockOne (Don’t know what #MockOne is? Check it out here.)

Xavier Rhodes. This is a name you may want to get familiar with in the next couple months headed up to the draft. The lengthy Cornerback from Florida St. has definitely began to catch the eyes of draftniks out there. And with a stellar performance today at the final day of the 2013 NFL Combine, he is likely to attract even more attention.

Rhodes (22) graduated from Norland High School in his hometown of Miami, Florida. In 2009, Xavier only played in two games, one for Boston College and the other for Georgia Tech, due to a hand injury that kept him from participating the majority of the season. In 2010, he moved to FSU where he impressed “as a promising young star” and won various rookie and freshman awards. In his next two years at Florida State, Rhodes solidified his role as one of the best corners in the nation and was on watch lists for both the Bednarik and Thorpe Awards.

Read any scouting report for Xavier Rhodes and I promise you’ll find the word ‘big’ within the first thirty words. Rhodes measured in at the combine at a whopping 6’1″ tall and 210 lbs. His size and large frame allow him to be an excellent press corner who is always pressuring the receiver. Don’t be mislead by his size, though. Rhodes ran a 4.43 40 at the combine today. He also had the highest vertical jump and broad jump of any defensive backs at the combine showing great leg strength and explosion. This ability to get off the ground coupled with his lengthy stature allows him to compete for balls with receivers. Rhodes is also well-known as being one of the best (if not the best) cover corners in the nation.The only real, consistent knock on Rhodes is that he isn’t amazing in run support and could work on his tackling.

There are bigger needs for the Vikings than Cornerback, no doubt about it. But, there are a few reasons why I think this pick would be really good for the Vikings.

First and foremost, I’m not completely sold on taking a wide receiver late in the first round (yet…). To me, the value just isn’t there and you could likely find someone comparable to the receivers who will be first off the board in the second and third rounds. Secondly, I really like what our secondary would look like with a guy like Rhodes added to the squad. Picture it – a physical, big-framed giant on each side, Cook and Rhodes (if Cook can stay healthy…), Antoine Winfield and Josh Robinson in the mix on occassion and the bruiser Harrison Smith lurking around in the backfield waiting to destroy someone. Doesn’t that sound awesome?! I just think the value is there at Cornerback with a guy like Rhodes, especially when this year’s draft is so deep at other defensive positions.

Xavier Rhodes could be a player who makes the Vikings secondary one to be feared for years to come in the NFC North – a division that is ripe with good quarterback play and big receivers.

If Xavier Rhodes is available when the Vikings are on the clock come April 25th (and that’s a big ‘if’ considering his stellar performance at the combine) it will be very interesting to see if the Vikings surprise people and go with the Florida State DB.

Check out the video below for some good tape on Rhodes. And feel free to leave some comments with some guys that you think would be worth looking at in our “Draft Target” series.

9 COMMENTS

  1. The draft targets you guys have talked about so far like Xaiver Rhodes, Cordarrelle Patterson, Chance Warmack and Johathan Cooper are great targets but… “realistically” they will be already taken by pick #23.

    Ryan Allen, Quinton Patton and Chris Jones are not worthy of the 23rd pick.

    Manti Te’o is the only realistic target so far… and I just have a sweet and sour taste in my mouth for him right now.

    Can you give us a “realistic” target at #23 that we can get excited about? Or is it beginning to look like the Vikings will trade out of pick #23?

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    • Well, I don’t really think that those guys will DEFINITELY be gone by the time we’re on the clock. (Chance Warmack, yes)

      And my understanding of this series, correct me if I’m wrong, Adam, is just to highlight some players we like who we could see the Vikings taking. Not specifically guys that will go in the first round, either (Ryan Allen, Chris Jones…).

      I think we will, as time goes on, reach deeper into the draft and find some guys the Vikings could target in later rounds.

      Thanks Carl!

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      • Correct. The intent is to highlight prospects we think could be good fits for the Vikings at some point in the draft. It might be at 23, or it might be on day three. They might trade up for a guy like Warmack (never know) or trade down.

        Consider the series to be all about “good fit.”

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  2. I know the intent is to highlight good fits for the Vikings… I get that… I am not knocking on you guys… I love the targets so far.

    Yes, in a perfect world one of those guys could fall to #23. I will keep my fingers crossed.

    I am just beginning to question if #23 is a good spot for the Vikings? That’s all.

    I know we are a long way from the draft and you guys will cover many more guys (I am excited about that)… but a target should also be something you realistically try to hit.

    I guess, at this point, I am somewhat frustrated with the “realistic” options available at #23 and I may have taking that frustration out on you gentlemen… sorry!

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    • No apology needed, haha, always good to clarify. I worry less about the value available at #23 than you are… Guys fall. Will that guy fill a huge positional need for us? Maybe, but I think they will have multiple solid options available when the time comes.

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  3. Part of my frustration is the lack of buzz at the QB position. A run on QBs at the top.. pushes quailty talent to the back of the draft.

    With my luck… this will be the year that Geno Smith and Barkley both fall to #23… wiping out 2 non QB positions that could have fallen.

    I hope you are right that talent will fall… right now, I am not seeing a strong enough QB buzz to do it. 2 months ago I was seeing 3 QBs in the top 10-15 of most mock drafts. Now, trade talks with Alex Smith and Matt Flynn could really change the draft and the rush on QBs at the top of the first round.

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  4. 23 is a really good spot to grab a guy that is falling. This draft has a lot of intriguing players that could drop. You’ve got a couple of top ten type guys in Lotulelei and Jarvis Jones that could slide because of medical concerns, the loaded DT class has some questionable work eithic guys in Richardson, Hankins, and Jenkins. The question becomes will it be a player the Vikes feel comfortable drafting or will it give them an opportunity to trade down.

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