USA TODAY Sports
When considering the Buffalo Bills' first-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, be sure to keep Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes in mind.
While we're on the subject of Buffalo Bills GM Buddy Nix loving draft prospects that put up great workout numbers, it's worth pointing out that WGR 550's Joe Buscaglia has a great dark horse candidate in mind from that line of thought to be the Bills' pick at No. 8 overall in the 2013 NFL Draft. That player is Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes.
"He has everything the Bills like in their corners," Buscaglia writes. He'd later continue, "He's got experience playing up at the line of scrimmage and pressing receivers. He's been the best cornerback at Florida State since he's been there."
A junior entrant into this year's selection meeting, Rhodes was a three-year starter for the Seminoles, amassing 139 tackles, eight interceptions and 23 pass break-ups in that time frame. Measuring in at 6'2" and 210 pounds, Rhodes has long arms (nearly 34 inches) and dazzled in workouts with a 4.43 in the 40-yard dash, a 1.47-second 10-yard split, a 40.5-inch vertical jump and an 11-foot broad jump.
"Trust me, six-foot corners with long arms are rare, especially when they run 4.4 with his movement skills," Mayock said of Gilmore at last year's South Carolina pro day. Well, Rhodes is over six feet tall, has 20 pounds on Gilmore and can still run with above-average movement skills for a player his size - though it's also worth noting that Rhodes' movement skills are not quite on the level of Gilmore's.
Much like Gilmore a year ago, Rhodes has been only on the fringe of first-round discussions through the early months of the pre-draft process, though there has been some buzz around his name from the likes of NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah. After Rhodes' Combine performance, however, you can fully expect to see his name in the first round of mock drafts from this point forward - and if Buscaglia is right (we think he is), you might even see Rhodes' name as high as No. 8 overall.