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NFL Draft 2013 – Cornerback Prospect Xavier Rhodes – Florida State

February 18th, 2013 at 10:53 PM
By Mark Mihalko

One of the biggest questions for the Pittsburgh Steelers is their secondary, and what they will do with free agent cornerback Keenan Lewis. The team would love to re-sign him long-term. Unfortunately, they lack the salary cap room to get into a bidding war for his services.

'ACC Football Championship vs. Florida State' photo (c) 2010, Daniel Lin - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
This year, there is varying grades on the cornerback position heading into the combine. For many, cornerback Dee Milliner from Alabama is the top rated prospect at the position. After him, all bets are off and the combine will play a huge role in slotting them. One interesting prospect that may land on the Steelers RADAR is Florida State Junior Xavier Rhodes.

At 6-1, 217 pounds he is a physical presence on the edge that excels in press-coverage. More importantly, he has fluid hips and enough athleticism to easily change directions. He plays with solid instincts, and while he is only a junior, he is extremely experienced with 39-starts. A vicious hitter in the run game, that physicality can cause problems with tight coverage.  

 

Not a burner, he has enough speed to cover on the outside and can match up with the more physical wide receivers in the NFL. Although, he does seem to lack the quick twitch movement to be effective against quicker slot receivers. In his career, he proved he can make plays with eight interceptions and 31 pass break-ups.

The Steelers may choose to add to their secondary and Rhodes could fit the bill if they do decide to move back in round one. At this point, he is a player that should be monitored throughout the draft process.

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Tags: Dee Milliner, Florida State, Football, Keenan Lewis, NFL, NFL Draft, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers, Xavier Rhodes

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