5-star wide receiver Robbie Rhodes is one of the best 2013 college football prospects in the country, and he's committed to playing for the Baylor Bears.
Rhodes is the No. 1 receiver in the nation according to 247Sports, and he's the No. 4 overall receiver according to their composite rankings. They have him down for running a 4.40 40 yard dash, which is good by NFL standards, let alone for a senior in high school.
Either way you look it it, Rhodes has the potential to be a very good college player, and he's a big-time commitment for Baylor.
Here's my full scouting report on Rhodes:
- Name: Robbie Rhodes
- Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas
- School: Southwest High School
- Position: Wide receiver
- Height: 6'1'' (247Sports)
- Weight: 189 lbs (247Sports)
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.40 (247Sports)
- Rankings: 5-star (247Sports), 4-star (Scout.com), 4-star (Rivals), 4-star (ESPN Recruiting Nation)
Speed is the first thing you have to talk about with Rhodes.
He runs a 4.4 40-yard dash, which is very fast. For comparison's sake, his time would have been in the Top 10 40 times for wide receivers at the 2012 NFL Draft combine.
Rhodes' speed will allow him to stretch defenses vertically on fade routes, but it will also allow him to outrun defenders on slants, or anything up the seam. He'll even be effective on routes that ask him to catch the ball and make something happen, as he displays very good footwork, elusiveness and field-vision.
For as quick as Rhodes is, he also has good size at 6'1'', 189 pounds, so he can go up and get the ball over the defender with his athleticism and size.
He also has good hands and appears to be a reliable pass-catcher.
Here's a shot of Rhodes going up and high-pointing the ball over a defender. He displays good focus, leaping ability and athleticism on this catch.
Notice also how he jumped relatively straight up in the air, instead of falling back into the catch. This is a technique that will help him compete for deep throws against bigger, better defenders at the college level.
Overall, Rhodes has the abilities to be a major deep threat in college, but he also has the skills and technique to be a complete receiver.
The one thing I didn't see a lot of in Rhodes' highlights is his ability to get off a jam.
I'm not saying that he doesn't know how to do it, because I'm sure he does, but it does seem like most defenses had to respect his speed at the high school level.
Because of that, you see a lot of very soft coverage like this against Rhodes:
The cornerback is literally ten yards off the line of scrimmage, which is a normal safety depth.
This was a constant look in coverage against Rhodes in this highlight, and I wonder how much repetition he actually got against a defense that jammed him at the line, forced him to be physical, use his hands and tried to negate his speed.
This will be a technique that college teams will use to slow down Rhodes because their corners will be able to keep up with him after the jam. Like I said, I'm sure he knows how to play physical at the line of scrimmage, but I do think it's fair to wonder how much he actually had to utilize those techniques in a game situation.
Either way, it's going to be something he'll need to work on at the college level, as defenses will undoubtedly try to jam him up.
Will Rhodes be elite at the college level?
There's a reason 247Sports has Rhodes as their No. 1 receiver recruit in the nation—he projects to be a very good receiver in college.
He has speed that compares to some receivers in the NFL, and he displays the size and ability to go up and get the deep ball.
Rhodes will be one of the premier deep-threat receivers in college football during his time with the Baylor Bears.