With the NFL draft 16 days away and free agency dying down it is time for my first 7-round mock. In order to properly understand the 12th overall pick you must understand how the first 11 picks play-out: The way I see the first 11 picks of the 2013 NFL draft:
1) Kansas City selects OT Luke Joeckel
2) Jacksonville selects DE Dion Jordan
3) Oakland selects DT Sharrif Floyd
4) Philadelphia selects OT Eric Fisher
5) Detroit selects CB Dee Miliner
6) Cleavland selects WR Tavon Austin
7) Arizona selects QB Geno Smith
8) Buffalo selects QB Matt Barkley
9) Jets select WR Cordarrelle Patterson
10) Tennessee selects OT Lane Johnson
11) San Diego selects DT Star Lotulelei
1) Xavier Rhodes CB, Florida State
Miami is in prime position to take BPA (best pick available). If the draft plays out this way the only true options are OG Chance Warmack, TE Tyler Eifert, DE Zeke Ansah, and CB Xavier Rhodes. Now I understand Rhodes will not be the sexy pick for the following reasons; Rhodes is Sean Smith 2.0, Rhodes can’t tackle, Rhodes has durability issues, ect. Xavier Rhodes is not a can’t miss prospect he does have flaws, but he also has loads of potential. Many scouts criticisms of Rhodes are far overblown.
Rhodes is a converted 4-star wide receiver recruit, who is a Miami native. He is not simply a press-man corner as most talking-heads will have you believe. In fact, according to my friend @NU_Gap (article found here http://secondroundstats.com/2013/02/18/cbs-1/) Rhodes played press only 20.69% of the time. In this study (which consisted of corner prospects Banks, Milliner, and Rhodes) Rhodes was clearly the most versatile of the three. Rhodes lines up all over the field, unlike the majority of other corners college CB who provide a substantial cushion.
He also had the lowest completion rate when targeted of all three prospects. The film show a CB that has the size and skills to be a Pro Bowl caliber cover-corner in the NFL. Don’t be sour about Sean Smith, Rhodes is NOT Sean Smith. Rhodes is much more refined CB that happens to have elite size. Miami’s defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle is a notoriously known around the league as a CB magician. If given this physical prospect the sky is the limit of Xavier Rhodes. Grimes 1-yr deal does not necessarily make Miami better in the immediate future, but the thought of Grimes and Rhodes is much more impressive starting duo than D.Patterson and Nolan Carroll. Rhodes provides stability and potential in a depleted secondary. Miami needs playmakers, they paid to have them on offense; now they need them in the secondary. (click here for page 2 of our Mock Draft)