2. First round, 25th overall: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Xavier Rhodes was my 12th ranked overall player, so the Vikings got another steal here. This is a big, physical cornerback that some thought could transition to safety in the NFL, but I think he’s going to be a Pro Bowl cornerback someday. I wasn’t sure he’d sneak out of the top 15 or 16 selections, but he was sitting on the board with the Vikings’ second first round pick, and they had no choice really but to take him. I think with Chris Cook, Rhodes gives the Vikings one of the more intriguing young cornerback duos in the league. He is going to need some seasoning, for sure, but he is capable of shutting down an entire side of the field. He has great speed and athletic ability, but his physicality gives him an edge over receivers. Rhodes also has very good ball skills, and because of his low draft slot, I think instead of feeling a lot of pressure to perform early, he will come in with a big chip on his shoulder and prove to people early why he should have been selected earlier than he was. I think this is another home run pickup for the Vikings.