Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes was a nightmare for opposing cornerbacks during the 2016 season, and NFL.com praised him for his coverage.
Fans of the Minnesota Vikings have to love the development they have seen from Xavier Rhodes since he was drafted in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. While he has become one of the brightest young defensive backs in the league, he wasn’t always in that category.
In fact, looking back to times when Rhodes was a raw player who made too many mistakes with being too physical or being too grabby reminds fans of the times the cornerback was practicing with boxing gloves on to help him evolve in the coverage.
All the hard work that Mike Zimmer and the Vikings coaching staff have done with Rhodes has paid off in a big way. With each passing season, he continues to become a bigger asset to the franchise.
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Recently, NFL.com Associate Fantasy Writer/Editor Matt Harmon published an article ranking each NFL team’s top cornerback in terms of their passer rating allowed, and Minnesota Vikings defensive back Xavier Rhodes came in at the #1 spot with an amazing 39.2.
Here is what Harmon had to say about Rhodes in the piece:
"“2016 saw the Vikings’ top corner, always a solid player, join the elite group of NFL cornerbacks. Opposing quarterbacks targeted Rhodes 79 times in 14 games. It proved to be a fruitless endeavor, as Rhodes gave up an NFL-low 41.8 percent catch rate. In addition to not allowing plays to the opposition, he made plenty for the Vikings, as well. Rhodes picked off five passes this year, after registering just two in his first three seasons.”"
The term “elite” is thrown around too much by today’s NFL analysts. However, when it comes to Rhodes, that might be a very accurate term. The Vikings don’t need to be too concerned with leaving him one-on-one against top pass catchers and he can also play other roles when needed.
Congratulations to Xavier Rhodes on being recognized by NFL.com for his excellent season at cornerback with the Minnesota Vikings. Hopefully, he will continue to be an elite level player for the team for many years going forward.