By: Justin Pawlowski

Leading up to Draft day on April 25th, I will be “making the case” for different players to be selected or not selected by the Bucs with the 13th overall selection.

For each player, I will give reasons why the Buccaneers should strongly consider that player and why they should pass on that player as well.

Here. We. Go.

With the 13th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Xavier Rhodes – Cornerback – Florida State

Hallelujah! The Bucs have finally addressed their biggest need at corner.

There is no doubt that the Bucs turned a blind eye to their desperate need for a cornerback, which tells us they like the corners available in this year’s draft class, they’re confident about trading for a certain cornerback, or both.

Rhodes has been considered by many to be the 2nd corner to come off the board the night of April 25th.  If available when the Bucs are on the clock, it will make for a great storyline to see if the Bucs pass on a corner in the 1st round for consecutive years after passing on Morris Claiborne a year ago.

Rhodes is a long corner with good size and long arms.  Rhodes has also displayed very good straight-line speed in off-season workouts to be able to run with NFL receivers down the field.

Rhodes would immediately become a starter in the Bucs defense and viewed by fans as a savior of sorts for a pass defense that was among the worst in NFL history last season.

The concern with Rhodes is his quickness and athleticism in and out of breaks to keep up with quicker receivers in the NFL.  Typically, it’s this aspect that separates the elite shutdown corners with the good corners with the average corners in the NFL.

As I stated before, it will make for an interesting storyline if Rhodes is on the clock because, in this draft, it is not a necessity to draft a corner in the first round since that position is so deep. 

The Bucs could easily view Rhodes in the same class as the next 5-7 cornerbacks and feel they could get equal value at that position in the 2nd round leaving them open to drafting another more pressing, and perhaps less deep position, in the first round.

One thing we have figured out in this draft is that no player in this draft is perfect.  With the depth the way it is, it might behoove the Bucs to do extra scouting to see if Xavier Rhodes flaws are less than some 2nd round CBs strengths.  What we might find out is that they’re both pretty even. If that’s the case, I’d draft a player at another position and target one of the many cornerbacks slated to be available when the Bucs are on the clock in the 2nd round.

Well, there you have it.  The arguments are there to either draft or to pass on Florida St. CB Xavier Rhodes.  Which way would you go?  Call The Commish during his show heard weekdays 9-noon and let him know!

For updates on the Buccaneers off-season moves in free agency and the NFL Draft, be sure to follow Justin Pawlowski and 98.7 The Fan on twitter.

Catch The Commish weekdays from 9-12 on 98.7 The Fan.

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