San Diego Chargers Draft Watch: Florida State CB Xavier Rhodes
By Jake Hefner
Dec 1, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA Florida State Seminoles defensive back Xavier Rhodes (27) lines up during the second half against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the 2012 ACC Championship game at Bank of America Stadium. FSU defeated Georgia Tech 21-15. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
With The Combine starting 1 week from Wednesday, let’s continue our draft hype by discussing the second biggest need the chargers will have to address this offseason. THE CORNERBACK POSITION.
As we all know, Our two starting cornerbacks are Unrestricted free agents this offseason and unfortunately, only one will probably be returning. Quentin Jammer is 33 years old and as much as I love him as a person and as a player, I just don’t see him coming back next season. On the other side is Antoine Cason, our 2008 number one draft pick came on strong toward the end of last season and could be very sought after in the free agent market if the chargers choose to not re-sign him.
My prediction: Cason is a high priority and will be re-signed, making Shareece Wright a starter opposite Cason and Marcus Gilchrist competing for the nickel spot. I know that doesn’t sit comfortably with most of us, but that being said, it’s no doubt we need some depth at cornerback and this years draft has no shortage of them.
Now let’s get the obvious out of the way…..Dee Milliner out of Alabama will NOT be available at #11. (If he is I’ll be shocked!) Milliner would be the only corner that I would consider taking over an O-Lineman with our number one selection. I have him going toDETROITat #5 the JETS at #9 or the TITANS at #10, ok let’s continue
Here’s a prospect to keep your eye on at the Underwear Olympics next week, Xavier Rhodes from Florida State, depending on how he performs at the combine, will determine if he’s going in the first or could drop to the second round. Rhodes has great size (6’1, 217lbs.) range and toughness. He resembles more of safety then a corner, can cover a lot of ground and is tough against the run. He has all the physical tools and potential to become a true shutdown corner.
However, Rhodes is scheme dependent. He thrives is press coverage, but his tackling technique still leaves something to be desired. Playing in a Zone Defense, Rhodes shows tight movements and sometimes lacks instincts in coverage. If he can refine his skills and stay healthy, I believe that Rhodes could be one of the best corners in this years draft and if he falls would be a steal in the second Round.
By Jake Hefner,