In Defense Of Xavier Rhodes

March 1st, 2013

xavier rhodes

Joe is not a hatchet man, unless the intended victim deserves to be chopped up.

Earlier today, Joe posted an item from a former NFL front office executive who goes by the Twitter moniker of @NFLosophy. And while he said Xavier Rhodes was a dynamic cover corner, he essentially labeled him dismal as a tackler.

Joe wondered why such a highly-rated draft prospect was that bad. So Joe, in the spirit of fairness, turned to a couple of respected NFL authorities for their take on Rhodes.

The first was NBC and FOX football analyst Shaun King, one of only three quarterbacks to lead the Bucs to an NFC Championship game.

King, in his words, “couldn’t disagree more” with @NFLosophy.

“He misses tackles but not because he is afraid,” King said. Rhodes “makes a lot of big hits and is a factor in the run game. IMO he doesn’t project as a No. 1 corner, more of a No. 2 guy and will flourish in a system that plays more zone than man.

“(Rhodes) doesn’t play the deep ball Well enough vs. big, fast wide receivers. I’ve watched all of his games, even 2010, and he is a good player, but I don’t view him as a No. 1-type corner. Good size, physical, decent speed, average ball skills, but he is an upgrade over what Tampa has.”

Dion Caputi of the highly respected National Football Post seems to side with King, going so far as to rate Rhodes a sure tackler after watching film of Rhodes a second time.

‏@nfldraftupdate: FSU CB Xavier Rhodes re-eval: Niche is press coverage. Great at forcing ball carrier inside on stretch/off-tackle runs. Hard, sure tackler. … Allows receivers to cross his face too easily. A fit in zone-scheme. Redirects WRs well with hands.

Interesting that Caputi also noted something that @NFLosophy picked up on — receivers cross his face often.

This is just an example of what goes on in team war rooms throughout the NFL in meetings leading up to the draft. Scouts will see one thing in one player, others see something totally different.

Either way, Rhodes is going to be a wealthy young man in a few months. Joe sure hopes he has a great deal of succcess in the league.

13 Responses to “In Defense Of Xavier Rhodes”

  1. 4everBucsFan Says:

    Well one things for sure, all the CBs in this draft all have flaws. Where even Miliner could be considered a 2nd rounder in past drafts, but unless we can sign 2 of the best FA corners, we have to rely on the draft to find those cover corners, but according to all my research and testimony from some NFL scouts brain trust, most of the players available this year are raw and not ready to be thrown to the wolves. Most are all considered nickelbacks, except for a few on the top, the rest are probably worse than what we already have. In my opinion, if we don’t land two above average FA cover corners, there is no way it can be considered a reach to draft a CB with the first pick. Because if we can’t get at least 2 starting cover corners and 1 bonafide back-up, we might as well shelf Schiano’s pressure defense and convert back to the cover 2 scheme. At least we have the secondary to play that scheme.

  2. 4everBucsFan Says:

    Just to reiterate, if we changed back to the cover 2, or any other zone defense, we should draft a pass rusher with our first pick.

  3. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Yes, Rhodes would be an upgrade to everything we currently have, but the problem is he isn’t the 13th ranked player on anyone’s board and I’m willing to bet the Bucs don’t have him ranked that high either. So they either trade down, or, if they can’t find a trade partner, they go with another position. Most likely OT, DT or DE.

    Actually I’m starting to come around to the possibility that Dominik may fool us all and trade UP this year. Yes, UP, not down. Target? Dee Milliner. If Milliner makes it past Detroit at #5, and that’s pretty likely since DE is an even bigger need for them, and makes it to the Jets at #9 I think Dominik has to be picking up the phone at that point. He won’t make it past Tennessee at #10 so that’ll be the final opportunity to trade for Milliner. What’s the compensation to go from #13 to #9? Can’t be too much.

  4. Macabee Says:


    The difference between a 13 and 9 is 200 points. If you look up 200 points that’s a 3rd round pick. I doubt that they would do it, but never say never.

    I like Rhodes and I’ve looked at a lot of his tape. To me he looks and plays like a SS. You know he dropped weight to 210lbs to increase his speed at the combine, but his normal playing weight is 217. He’s more of an Eric Reid type. My guess Rhodes and Amerson end up as NFL safeties.

  5. Andrew 1 Says:

    It looks like one of those top D lineman, like Werner or Star Lotulelei, might fall to us, and if thats the case then we better draft one of them. You just cant pass up talent like that because of need. Then we can address we CB position in the second round. I know one things for sure, the draft cant come soon enough.

  6. Andrew 1 Says:

    Even Jarvis Jones might fall to us.

  7. FLBoyInDallas Says:


    It’s also the value of two fourth round picks. If he falls to the Jets I’d be 100% on board with a trade up to grab Milliner. It’s not an exaggeration to say he has the physical talent to be the next Darelle Revis.

  8. Mike J Says:

    Macabee,”My guess Rhodes and Amerson end up as NFL safeties.” Maybe Banks also; but teams that play mainly zone may be able to keep all three at CB.

  9. MadMax Says:

    and Trufant continues to fly under the radar….I love it!

  10. NJBuccaneer Says:

    Best available at 13 which looks like it could be any player at this point with free agency still to come. Milliner would be a sure fire pick but only if he falls. The next available cornerback taken the bucs may be able to find a corner similar early in the second round of the draft. A lot to determine Dominik and staff, can’t wait for free agency honestly Joe.

  11. Paul Says:

    That twitter page gives 0 credentials. He is just some random fan with a twitter page posing as someone else.

  12. Tomcin Says:

    King’s a piece of crap. I don’t read anything he has to say.

  13. BrianDorry55 Says:

    You should consider quoting the sources that actually know what they’re talking about.