Posted April 26, 2013

Xavier Rhodes Selected No. 25 by Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings, NFL Draft
(Al Bello/Getty Images)

(Al Bello/Getty Images)

Follow every pick of the 2013 NFL draft

Somewhere, at some point in this draft, the Minnesota Vikings have to find some help on offense. But with two potentially elite defenders falling down the Round 1 board, the Vikings eschewed their passing game for the time being.

The Vikings nabbed talented DT Sharrif Floyd at No. 23, then turned around two picks later to take CB Xavier Rhodes. The latter, a Florida State product, was the second-best cornerback on the Audibles Big Board, behind only Dee Milliner.
Rhodes, 6-foot-1, might be as physical as any other cornerback in this draft. He likes to get up in receivers’ faces and use his hands to keep them within reach. That aggressiveness can result in penalties from time to time, but it also allows Rhodes to shut down talented offensive players and force turnovers.

The Vikings entered Thursday looking totally underwhelming at cornerback, a problem exacerbated by Antoine Winfield’s move to Seattle. Rhodes might be their No. 1 CB from day one.

Grade: A-minus. Sure, Minnesota has to get Christian Ponder another weapon or two. But in Floyd and now Rhodes, the Vikings have upgraded their defense in a big way.

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