As we inch ever closer to the NFL draft, we have all made our speculations about who is going to go to what team, what team needs each position, so on and so forth.
But what about the athletes in the draft? Shouldn't we know some things about the prospects? It is important to know team needs, of course—but each team needs to know about who they're getting, not simply their on-field accolades.
Xavier Rhodes played for the Florida State Seminoles in college, and was a big part to the formidable defense that they had in 2012. What do we need to know about this young man as he begins his own journey to NFL success?
Hometown: Miami, FL
High School: Miami Norland High School
College: Florida State University
Year: Junior—opted to forgo senior season to enter the 2013 NFL Draft
Rhodes chose to stay within the state of Florida for college, and has decided to enter the draft following his junior season. There's some who seem to think he could benefit from another year in school, but after a season in which Florida State's defense dominated the nation, the stock is sky high for Rhodes.
2010: 13 games, 54 tackles (45 solo), 4 interceptions, 11 passes defended, 2 sacks
2011: 13 games, 43 tackles (36 solo), 1 interception, 4 passes defended
2012: 12 games, 39 tackles (27 solo), 3 interceptions, 7 passes defended
The highlight season for Rhodes was certainly his rookie campaign back in 2010, but his performance since then hasn't been a cause for concern in the least.
While the numbers don't show it directly, Rhodes was a key part of Florida State's defense. What you can take from his 2012 stats is that quarterbacks were less willing to throw in his direction because of the precedent he set back in 2010. Simply put, his quickness made him a dangerous defender.
Stats courtesy of ESPN.com
Weight: 210 lbs.
Arm Length: 33.75"
Hand Size: 9"
40-yard dash: 4.43 seconds
Bench press: 14 reps
Broad jump: 132 inch (Combine top performer)
Vertical jump: 40.5 inch (Combine top performer)
To see some of Rhodes' NFL combine performance, click here.
Florida State pro day
Essentially, Rhodes maintained his combine statistics, which continued to impress scouts that watched him. His broad and vertical jumps are huge catalysts for his draft stock.
What combine experts have concluded about Rhodes is that he has good size for a defensive back. His speed is going to make him a pain for the receivers at the next level, as he is not easy to get away from. Likewise, his ability to jump will make him a nightmare for quarterbacks who heave Hail Mary's down the field.
NFL combine stats courtesy of NFL.com
Pro day stats courtesy of optimumscouting.com
In high school, Rhodes doubled-up as both a defensive back and wide receiver—in fact, he led his team at Miami Norland High School in both rushing and receiving.
In 2010, he was named a freshman All-American and the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year. Unfortunately, his impact would not be as greatly felt in 2011 because he struggled with a knee injury.
His campaign in 2012 saw him tie for the team lead with three interceptions, and he was named to the first team All-ACC squad.
Additionally, Galko said that Rhodes had great size and athleticism, which he showed at the Florida State pro day. Unfortunately, he also said that his technique could be better.
Meanwhile, NFL.com was much more broad in their prediction for Rhodes, saying he would likely be a top 50 pick. They claimed that he thrived in physical coverage, but lacked when it came to playing in a zone. In essence, he lives for man coverage.