Fantasy Impact: Minnesota Vikings select Xavier Rhodes
With the 25th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings selected CB Xavier Rhodes (Florida State Seminoles). A big cover corner (6’1″, 210 pounds), Rhodes might well turn out to be the best cornerback in this draft class. His 40 time is very solid (4.43), but his unique combination of size and athletic ability (40.5″ vertical jump, 132″ broad jump) will make him an incredibly valuable asset.
Perhaps equally importantly, Rhodes’s physical style makes him an asset against the run as well as the pass, and his ability to jam receivers at the line will be a significant help when trying to disrupt the timing of opponents’ passing attacks. As an important sidenote, there’s good reason to believe that if Rhodes were listed as a free safety rather than a corner, that he’d be the highest-ranked safety on a good number of NFL teams’ boards (and it might not even be close).
College statistics courtesy of Sports Reference.
The Vikings badly needed an upgrade at cornerback, and in Rhodes they get perhaps the best available in this draft (period). With Josh Robinson and Chris Cook currently penciled in as the starters, Rhodes should make an impact right from the onset, and should have significant IDP value early on. Of course, if he proves to be the shutdown corner with playmaking ability that I’m expecting him to be, it won’t be long before his side of the field is avoided by opposing QBs, so dynasty leaguers should be wary of Rhodes’ long-term value.