3. XAVIER RHODES, Florida State
Key 2012 Stats: 3 INTs, 1 forced fumble, 39 tackles
Any team looking to build its defensive backfield on the Seahawks model – long, strong cornerbacks like Brandon Browner (6-4) and Richard Sherman (6-3) – isn’t going to have much of a selection in this draft. Rhodes is probably at the top of that short list.
He uses his long arms to jam receivers at the line (though he’s not yet consistent in fully disrupting their release) and remains within arm's length throughout their route. Rhodes’ two best seasons came when he was out on the boundary, mirroring an opponent’s top receiver, which bodes well for his prospects as a man corner at the next level.
He seemed to lose receivers only when he’d turn his attention to the quarterback and look for the ball too early, which should concern a team playing primarily a zone scheme. But when he’s locked onto his man, Rhodes rarely allowed separation.