NFL Mock Draft 2013: Xavier Rhodes -- in the first round?

USA TODAY Sports

We turn our attention to a new mock draft today, as Dane Brugler decided to have a little unorthodox fun in his latest one. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers grab a very surprising player there: Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes, a player who has generally been described as a second-rounder. Not that Rhodes is a bad player, far from it: he's physical, discpilned, has good ball skills, is a solid tackler and has great size, speed and ability to turn. There's just one problem: he only ever played zone coverage in college.

More: Mike Sullivan is staying | Mock Draft Database

That doesn't mean he can't play man coverage, but he's not had a lot of practice doing it. The transition period will likely take longer than usual, and there's a chance he won't be able to do it at all. The Bucs don't play a lot of zone coverage, and as a blitz-heavy team they need cornerbacks who can cover players one-on-one. Is Rhodes that kind of player? Brugler seems to think so:

Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State: Even before the Buccaneers traded Aqib Talib to the Patriots, the cornerback position was a weak spot for Tampa Bay. Rhodes doesn't have elite speed, but he plays quick, physical and smart with potential to be one of the best bump-and-run corners at the next level.

That's not the only weird move in this mock draft, though. Brugler also has Star Lotulelei falling to the Bucs -- and then he has the Bucs passing on him. I haven't seen much of Lotulelei, but he's generally seen as the single best player in the draft. And the Bucs could certainly a nose tackle who can get after the quarterback as well as stuff the run. Another faller is Oregon DE/OLB Dion Jordan, a physically extremely gifted player with a ton of potential and versatility, but he lacks polish. He compares with Jason Pierre-Paul and Aldon Smith because of those physical gifts and raw ability combined with a lack of developed skills.

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