By Matt LaPan
The demand for big, physical cornerbacks has never been higher and Xavier Rhodes fits that description perfectly. Rhodes' size (6-1 with 33-plus inch arms) and great jam technique allows him to press receivers at the line, and he combines that with above-average recovery speed, which allows him to gamble a bit more. He also has perfected an "in the receiver's pocket" technique of trail coverage, leading to many of his pass deflections.
Rhodes' stature reminds many of Richard Sherman of Seattle, who has emerged as one of the best press-cover corners in the NFL with his 6-3 frame and extremely agressive style. Sherman uses his long arms to shove receivers off their routes at the line of scrimage and plays trail coverage that forces a lot of pass deflections and turnovers. When Sherman plays at his best, he can shut down an entire side of a field.