1. Xavier Rhodes – CB
Since being selected by the Vikings in the 2013 NFL Draft, Rhodes has been nothing short of one of the best corners in the league.
He has become so good in coverage that opposing teams have just quit throwing the ball his way. So that’s why Rhodes’ performance in 2018 was such a shock.
He never really looked himself all season long. Rhodes was getting beat week after week by wide receivers that he would normally shut down and teams began throwing his way with more consistent success.
Frustration set in with the Minnesota corner and he was visibly upset on the field, even picking up and throwing a penalty flag during one game.
The reason for Rhodes’ poor performance in 2018 is likely due to injuries. The guy just wasn’t healthy all season long. He deserves some props for trying to hang in there, but he clearly wasn’t the player, or even close to the player, he is when he is 100 percent healthy.
Rhodes only missed two games on the season, but it’s fair to question if he should’ve been forced to sit out for even more. Luckily, he now has a full offseason to recover from the multiple injuries that he was dealing with in 2018.
Opposing quarterbacks will likely continue to target Rhodes next season until he can prove to them that his 2018 performance was nothing but an injury-plagued fluke and he’s able to return to being the corner they all once feared.
(For more NFL Draft and Vikings-related content from Nik Edlund, head on over to SkolHole.com and check out his work.)