04/28/13 - A closer look at the Vikings' picks: 1/25 - Xavier Rhodes, CB, 6-1, 217, Florida State...A big, shutdown press corner who will come in handy in the NFC North, where the Vikings have to match up with receivers such as 6-5 Calvin Johnson and 6-4 Brandon Marshall. The Vikings play more of a zone-based defensive scheme, but Rhodes and 6-2 veteran Chris Cook could give them more man, press options in the future. QUOTE TO NOTE: "I believe anywhere above Florida is cold." -- Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes, the Vikings' pick at No. 25 and a person who has never lived north of Tallahassee. - The Sports Xchange
04/28/13 - Rhodes, a shutdown press corner, joins Chris Cook in giving the Vikings a pair of 6-2 corners in a division that has them facing Detroit's 6-5 Calvin Johnson, Chicago's 6-4 Brandon Marshall and Green Bay's stable of wideouts six times a year. "With Sharrif Floyd, I went through 1,000 scenarios with that 23rd and 25th pick," Spielman said. "And I can just tell you honestly that he was not (available) in one of those scenarios."
Spielman said the run on offensive linemen - eight were picked in the top 20 selections - was greater than he could have imagined and helped force the defensive players he targeted to the bottom of the first round. Spielman was explaining all of this to reporters when a media relations employee interrupted. The Patriots were interested in dealing the 29th pick and Spielman was needed to close the deal. He sprinted back upstairs, where he pulled the trigger that he hopes will make people forget Harvin, the disgruntled superstar who was traded to Seattle for a first- and seventh-round pick this year and a third-rounder next year. - The Sports Xchange
04/25/13 - ROB RANG'S FINAL 2013 NFL DRAFT BIG BOARD: 16. *Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State: Despite the 6-2, 210-pound corner wowing during measured drills at the combine, Rhodes left Indianapolis slipping down some NFL boards after a less-than-impressive showing during the positional workout and in interviews. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
04/25/13 - DANE BRUGLER'S FINAL 2013 DRAFT BOARD: 12. CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State (6-2, 210, 4JR)...There are some questions about his long speed, but Rhodes is a true bump-and-run corner who can match up with physical receivers and stay in their hip pocket. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
04/08/13 - 2013 Florida State Pro Day: There were 32 teams represented at Florida State Pro Day on March 19. They ran outdoors and the field was damp due to prior rain. It was about 70 degrees. Xavier Rhodes CB (6-1 ½, 207 pounds) - He kept his times from the combine with one exception. He ran a 4.65 in the short shuttle drill and a 7.29 in the three-cone drill. He had an excellent workout. - Gil Brandt, NFL.com
03/19/13 - 2013 Florida State Pro Day: Rhodes participated in cornerback-specific stations but slipped multiple times and dropped the ball in interception drills. He's NFLDraftScout.com's second-ranked cornerback and No. 13 overall, seven spots behind Werner. Several prominent defensive coaches -- including Rob Ryan of the Saints and Broncos coordinator Jack Del Rio -- were in attendance, as was Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley. - Derek Harper, The Sports Xchange
01/02/13 - Florida State junior cornerback Xavier Rhodes will forgo his senior season and enter the 2013 NFL Draft. He announced the news after the Seminoles 31-10 victory over Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl. "I'm excited about it," Rhodes said Tuesday night, "but it depends on me and how I perform in the combine if I'm going to be a first-rounder."
Rhodes currently ranks as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 2 cornerback and No. 18 prospect overall, projecting as a first-round pick. He tied for the team-lead in interceptions (three) in 2012, giving him eight over the past three seasons. Rhodes was a fourth-year junior, redshirting in 2009 after a hand injury sidelined him for most of the season.
A first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection this season, Rhodes is one of the most physical cornerback prospects at the college level, routinely pressing at the line of scrimmage. Listed at 6-foot-1 and 217 pounds, he has the length and aggressive nature to match up well with bigger receivers at the next level. Rhodes is still a little rough around the edges and tends to get too physical in man coverage, but the physical tools will be extremely appealing to NFL teams on draft day. NFLDraftScout.com's top-rated cornerback prospect is Alabama junior Dee Milliner, who is slotted fifth overall. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
01/02/13 - Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes says he'll forgo his senior season and turn pro this year. Rhodes made the announcement Tuesday after the Seminoles' 31-10 victory over Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl. Coach Jimbo Fisher predicted the converted wide receiver, considered a potential first-round draft pick, will thrive in the NFL.
Rhodes forced and recovered a Huskies fumble in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory. He started 38 games and had eight career interceptions. Junior defensive end Bjoern Werner said he'll make an announcement about his plans in the next few days. - AP Sports
01/01/13 - Scouting the Florida State pass defense: Georgia Tech rarely passed the ball against FSU, but the Seminoles took advantage when it did. CB Xavier Rhodes grabbed an interception midway through the third quarter that stopped a drive, and Karlos Williams, a safety-turned-linebacker thanks to an injury, made the game-sealing pick with a minute to go. Through 13 games, Florida State ranks third in the nation against the pass and allows just 160.1 passing yards per game. - The Sports Xchange
12/12/12 - 2012 COACHES ALL-ACC FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM: CB-Xavier Rhodes, Florida State, 6-2, 215, Jr., Miami, Fla. (17), has been selected First Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference (Coaches selection) for the 2012 college football season. This year, for the first time under the auspices of the ACC, the league's 12 head football coaches voted for an All-ACC football team. - Florida State football
12/01/12 - 2012 ALL-ACC FIRST TEAM (MEDIA): CB-Xavier Rhodes, Florida State (66)...has been named First Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference for the 2012 college football season by the ACC Media Association. Rhodes shares the team lead in pass break-ups (7), is second in interceptions (2) and has made 34 tackles, including 25 solo stops. Those numbers are even more impressive when you consider opponents have largely avoided the 2010 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year.
“After one good year when you get numbers, you usually don’t get them after that, because they quit throwing at you,” Fisher said. “It comes back to the respect and appreciation of how he plays the game and how good of a player he is. To me, when a corner doesn’t have big numbers, it’s because of the respect other teams have for you.” - Florida State football
09/22/12 - SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: The Seminoles lead the nation in all four major defensive categories. Of course, that comes with the asterisk of the competition they have faced. Even so, it has been an impressive showing to pitch a pair of shutouts and allow just three points all season. That will help fuel motivation and confidence to prove it against a better opponent. The Seminoles plan has to start with slowing Clemson's receiver Sammy Watkins, who grew up in Fort Myers and was disappointed FSU didn't recruit him. He made that known with his performance last year in Clemson's win and he'll be more motivated Saturday with family and friends in Tallahassee. Along with DeAndre Watkins, the Tigers boast two of the fastest, best receivers in the country. It will be a challenge for FSU's vastly improved secondary. Next in line, stopping running back Andre Ellington and quarterback Tajh Boyd. - The Sports Xchange
08/21/12 - He's projected as a first-round pick in next year's NFL draft should he decide to leave Florida State a year early. He's on the watch list for the Bednarik Award and the Nagurski Trophy. He's one of the top contenders to take home the Thorpe Award as the nation's top cornerback, too. And yet, Xavier Rhodes insists all of this would come as a surprise to him if he could simply avoid the calls from boastful family and friends. "I don't even go on the computer," Rhodes said. But the text messages arrive and the phone calls continue, and the hype is usually tough to avoid. Still, Rhodes plays it cool. "I'm just like, 'Really? Thank you,' "he said. "Then I hang up and go back to working." It's a mind game for Rhodes. Progress isn't built on a foundation of success, but rather a fear of failure. What happened last year, last week or last play -- that's gone. What's next is what matters. "I believe once that gets into your mind that you're rated so high, you tend to work less," Rhodes said. "I try to work like I'm just an average player trying to find a way to get on top." Rhodes is far from an average player, but this fall has presented him with a unique set of challenges. Off the field, there's the knee injury. It came during Florida State's win over Notre Dame in the Champs Sports Bowl, and it kept Rhodes sidelined throughout the spring. It also meant he wouldn't be able to participate in the NFL combine, which essentially sacked any chance he might enter the draft as a redshirt sophomore. The knee has improved, but it's not yet healed. Rhodes wears a sizable brace, and he's made frequent asides during practice to have trainers adjust its fit as he tries to get comfortable and run with the same grace and tenacity he did before. "He's not 100 percent right now," coach Jimbo Fisher said. "But he's moving better, moving around, getting back and playing good." Rhodes insists the injury isn't bothering him. It's not sore at all, he said. - David M. Hale, NoleNation
08/15/12 - When camp opened (last) Monday, Jimbo Fisher was optimistic about the health of star cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who missed all of spring practice with a knee injury. Fisher said Rhodes would be a "full go," Monday, but by Thursday it was clear there were still some limitations. The junior cornerback came off the field for a while during Thursday morning's practice, and when it was over Fisher admitted Rhodes' knee isn't feeling quite as good as the coaching staff had initially hoped. "He's got to get healthier," Fisher said. "I thought he was a little farther along the first couple of days than he is now, so he's got to pick it up from a health point. We've got to get him back healthy." The sense of urgency stems in part from Rhodes' potential impact this season. He's one of the top corners in the nation, and projected as a potential first-round pick in next year's NFL draft if he decides to forgo his senior year. - David M. Hale, ESPN.com
07/18/12 - 2012 JIM THORPE AWARD PRESEASON WATCH LIST: Xavier Rhodes, Florida State CB, Jr., has been selected to the Preseason Jim Thorpe Award Watch List for the 2012 college football season, presented to the best defensive back in college football by the Jim Thorpe Association. Rhodes capped off his redshirt sophomore season last year with a strong performance in the Champs Sports Bowl before an injury. In two seasons as the starting boundary cornerback, Rhodes has 101 career tackles -- including 85 solo stops -- and 17 passes defended. He's also nabbed five interceptions in that same span. - FSU football
07/18/12 - 2012 BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State, has been selected to the Preseason Bronko Nagurski Trophy Award Watch List for the 2012 college football season. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is presented to the National Defensive Player of the Year by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the Football Writers Association of America. Rhodes capped off his redshirt sophomore season last year with a strong performance in the Champs Sports Bowl before an injury. In two seasons as the starting boundary cornerback, Rhodes has 101 career tackles -- including 85 solo stops -- and 17 passes defended. He's also nabbed five interceptions in that same span. - FSU football
07/10/12 - 2012 BEDNARIK AWARD PRESEASON WATCHLIST: Xavier Rhodes, Florida State, CB, Jr., has been selected to the preseason Bednarik Award watchlist for the 2012 college football season. The Bednarik Award has been presented to the nation’s top defensive player since 1995. A former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, Chuck Bednarik is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 1969 and the NFL Hall of Fame’s Class of 1967. After a four-interception season as a redshirt freshman in 2010, Rhodes registered just one takeaway last season but that had more to do with opposing quarterbacks shying away from his side of the field. He capped off his sophomore season with a strong showing in the Champs Sports Bowl against Notre Dame wide receiver and eventual NFL first-round draft pick Michael Floyd before being sidelined with an injury. - Florida State football
06/15/12 - Top-five Florida State prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft: 2. CB Xavier Rhodes (6-2, 210)...A high school wide receiver, running back and defensive back, Rhodes moved to the defensive side of the ball for good shortly after enrolling at Florida State. Although he had a rough start at cornerback, he earned his way onto the field as a freshman, but a hand injury ended his season prematurely. However, the injury ended up to be a blessing in disguise because it allowed Rhodes to watch film and learn the subtle nuances of the cornerback position while he redshirted. He returned healthy in 2010 and started all 14 games, emerging as one of the young studs of the Seminoles' defense with 12 pass break-ups and four interceptions. Rhodes failed to match his production last season (four pass break-ups, one interception), but teams tended to stay away from his side of the field. He flirted with the NFL waters after the 2011 season, but decided to return to Tallahassee for 2012, especially after he suffered a knee injury in the bowl win over Notre Dame. Rhodes has imposing size for the cornerback position and is a willing hitter, truly enjoying the physical aspect of playing on defense. He is aggressive at the line of scrimmage and works hard to knock receivers off their route while still showing the quickness and footwork to quickly redirect and run with receivers downfield. Rhodes is one of the more talented cornerbacks at the college level and has first round ability if he stays healthy and becomes more disciplined. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
05/15/12 - 05/14/12 BIG BOARD, BEST FOR 2013: 19. *Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State: Big (6-1, 215), physical and athletic. Rhodes has been a standout for the Seminoles throughout his entire career and may have considered leaving after completing his redshirt sophomore season a year ago had he not suffered a slight knee injury against Michael Floyd and Notre Dame in the Champs Sports Bowl. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com