STRENGTHS - Strong and physical Rhodes is the rare cornerback with the size to physically match-up with tall receivers and the athleticism and speed to stay with the fastest ones. Quick to jam receiver, Rhodes can turn and run with receiver off the LOS and has the speed to stay on receiver's hip on routes all over the field. Instinctive and aware, Rhodes reads the QB/Pass and route combinations well to consistently close explosively on the receiver. Showing no hesitation, Rhodes uses his front arm well to reach in front of receiver to break up pass without committing the penalty. When lined up off the LOS he reads the quick pass to receiver behind the LOS, closes explosively and can make the blow up hit/tackle right after the catch. Unlike many cornerbacks, Rhodes shows no hesitation coming up the field fast to make tackles in run support.
WEAKNESSES - Rhodes needs to improve hand-use/technique when he jams receiver because too often his bad technique allows man to release off the LOS easier than he should be able to. On film there were few things to be concerned with, but at the Combine and his Pro Day, his work in the positional drills was not impressive and has led some NFL personnel to question how effective he can be in "off" and zone coverages in the NFL. During these positional workouts he looked stiff/tight in hips, struggled to change directions and stumbled often, which is shocking for how well he moved on film.
SUMMARY - Highly productive whenever in the lineup at Florida State, Rhodes' combination of good height (6'1), long arms, top athleticism and speed give him a skill set that few NFL cornerbacks possess. On film I was constantly impressed with his ability to plant, drive and close explosively on passes in front of him in time to make a play to break up the pass. Although his positional workouts at the Combine and Pro Day were not impressive, I will not allow it to alter my grade that is based on thorough film evaluation. Overall, Rhodes is going to be a first round pick in April and I am confident in his ability to be a good starting cornerback in the NFL. From film study, he looks to be the rare cornerback who has the size and athleticism to excel in all types of coverage. .