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2013 NFL mock draft: Xavier Rhodes to Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa has a dire need at corner, but they still haven't traded for Darrelle Revis.


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a dire need at cornerback, and anyone paying the slightest bit of attention seems aware that they'd really like to address that need by trading for Darrelle Revis of the New York Jets. That hasn't happened yet, however, so our friends at Bucs Nation chose to do so with the No. 13 overall pick in the SB Nation NFL bloggers' mock draft, instead. And heck - even if the Bucs do land Revis and manage to keep this pick in the process, taking a corner would still be a feasible option.

Team Player Position Height Weight Class
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Xavier Rhodes, Florida State CB 6'2" 217 SR

Sander Philipse: "Ever since Mark Dominik has become the Buccaneers' general manager he has filled the biggest need on the team with their first round pick. In 2009, the Buccaneers needed a quarterback and they selected Josh Freeman. In 2010, they needed a defensive tackle and selected Gerald McCoy. In 2011, the big need was defensive end and they wound up with Adrian Clayborn. Last year the biggest hole was at safety, and they took Mark Barron.

"This season the biggest need is cornerback, and with both Dee Milliner and Desmond Trufant off the board they select Xavier Rhodes. The Bucs will love Rhodes' physicality, his ability to press receivers and to play man coverage on the outside, and his willingness to tackle. Any problems with tackling technique will be shored up by Greg Schiano's intensive tackling drills. Rhodes compares to Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman, and that's what he'll be with the Buccaneers: a man cover corner who will allow the Bucs to be more creative and effective with blitzes. His tight hips will be less of a concern if he's restricted to the outside, with other players taking on the slot cornerback responsibilities.

"I considered Tavon Austin, Tyler Eifert and Sheldon Richardson at this point, but the need at cornerback is simply overwhelming. If the season started right now the Bucs would line up with Leonard Johnson, Danny Gorrer and Eric Wright as their top three cornerbacks, and Wright may not even make it to the season opener without taking a significant pay cut. That is a disaster waiting to happen, and the Bucs must find cornerbacks - and they must find a lot of them. Rhodes is the best cornerback on the board at this point, and he has the talent to become a very, very good cornerback in the NFL down the line. The value may be a little off, but this is one time when the need is so dire that the Bucs simply can't afford to pass up a quality cornerback."

Here's our own Dan Kadar to break down the pick:

When the Buccaneers traded Aqib Talib, it left a considerable lack of talent in the defensive backfield. Sure, Johnson has some upside potential, but Gorrer is a journeyman and Wright’s roster spot is tenuous. Either Rhodes or Trufant should slip to the Buccaneers’ spot. Whichever one is there should be the choice. Rhodes is a press specialist and should continue to refine his instincts and zone coverage skills.

The Bucs have our NFC South day in this mock draft off and running; the Carolina Panthers (and our friends at Cat Scratch Reader) will keep things rolling with their No. 14 pick at Noon ET.

Top 5 Players Remaining

# Player Pos. College Ht. Wt.
5 Sheldon Richardson * DT Missouri 6'3" 294
11 Bjoern Werner * DE Florida State 6'3" 266
12 Jonathan Cooper OG North Carolina 6'2" 311
13 Lane Johnson OT Oklahoma 6'6" 303
15 Arthur Brown LB Kansas State 6'0" 241

2013 SB Nation NFL Writers' Mock Draft Results

No. Team Player Pos. College
1 Kansas City Chiefs Luke Joeckel OT Texas A&M
2 Jacksonville Jaguars Geno Smith QB West Virginia
3 Oakland Raiders Sharrif Floyd DT Florida
4 Philadelphia Eagles Eric Fisher OT Central Michigan
5 Detroit Lions Ezekiel Ansah DE BYU
6 Cleveland Browns Dion Jordan OLB Oregon
7 Arizona Cardinals Barkevious Mingo OLB LSU
8 Buffalo Bills Jarvis Jones OLB Georgia
9 New York Jets Chance Warmack OG Alabama
10 Tennessee Titans Dee Milliner CB Alabama
11 San Diego Chargers Star Lotulelei DT Utah
12 Miami Dolphins Desmond Trufant CB Washington
13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Xavier Rhodes CB Florida State