“I am looking forward to getting better and learning from mistakes that I made and try to get better.”- Xavier Rhodes
Entering the 2015 season, the Minnesota Vikings have a lot to be excited about. They now have playoff aspirations since they have a fresh Adrian Peterson coming back from suspension and the acquisition of Mike Wallace from the Miami Dolphins. According to Pro Football Focus they were the 9th best defense last season.
Their defense is very young and has the potential to be something special after drafting CB Trae Waynes and DE/LB Danielle Hunter in April’s draft to go along with Anthony Barr, Harrison Smith and company.
Another key figure of this promising Vikings defense is cornerback Xavier Rhodes who is entering his 3rd year out of Florida State. Rhodes, the Vikings first round pick from 2013, has the size and physical tools at cornerback that makes scouts salivate. At 6’1” 210 lbs, he’s athletic and rangy enough to deal with any type of receiver. He’s solid in run defense and according to PFF he was 2nd in the NFL in pass deflections amongst CBs. He only surrendered 2 TDs last season and has flashed true shutdown corner potential.
During his first season, he was plagued by inconsistent technique and not trusting his instincts, but drastically improved in year 2. With the coaching of Mike Zimmer, he has developed into a good press man corner with the ability disrupt receivers at the line of scrimmage and run with them step for step down the field.. If he continues to improve, especially in the mental aspect of the game he could eventually become an elite NFL cornerback.
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