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Xavier Rhodes Ranks 66th on NFL's Top 100 List

Posted May 15, 2017

Xavier Rhodes earned his first Pro Bowl nod in 2016 after a strong season on the field.

The Vikings cornerback picked up another first-time accolade Monday night when he made his first appearance on the NFL’s Top 100 list.

Rhodes landed at No. 66 on the list, which is voted on solely by NFL players.

“Going against their top guy each and every week, you know that’s the quarterback’s top target,” Rhodes said on the show. “So you know going into that game you’re going to at least get six, seven, eight, nine targets a game.

“My whole mentality is not allowing them to catch more than one,” Rhodes added.

Rhodes had a team-high five interceptions in 2016 and tied for second on the Vikings with 14 passes defended. He also recorded 54 total tackles (according to coaches’ tally) and added two tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

Rhodes’ highlight reel on the show was showcased by a pair of big moments in 2016.

The former first-round pick fared well against Odell Beckham Jr. on Monday Night Football in Week 4, limiting the Giants wide receiver to 23 yards on three receptions.

“He definitely won that matchup,” said Panthers and former Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn. “He played on Odell for the whole entire game.

“He shadowed him and he did his thing,” Munnerlyn added.

Rhodes’ 100-yard pick-6 against the Cardinals was also featured, with the cornerback laughing at how teammates and Vikings personnel joked about him running the length of the field so fast.

Current and former teammates spoke about what makes Rhodes such a dominant shutdown cornerback. 

“When you look at a year ago, he was hot and cold, hot and cold,” Munnerlyn said. “This year, he was more consistent. He was playing the No. 1 receiver each and every week, and he (went) out there and was ballin’.”

Added Vikings safety Harrison Smith: “Xavier’s a big corner, a big physical guy who gets his hands on you (with those) long arms,” Smith said. “Once he gets those hands on you, it’s pretty much over.”

An NFC North foe, Packers wide receiver Davante Adams, also gave the 6-foot-1 Rhodes plenty of praise.

“That size is really, really tough to go against,” Adams said. “He uses it well … and is one of the best corners in the league.”

Rhodes was the third Vikings player to make the list in 2017. Smith landed at No. 74, and defensive end Everson Griffen was ranked No. 92.

Monday night’s show unveiled 10 players.

Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins kicked off the list at No. 70, and was followed by Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi and Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins.

Carolina tight end Greg Olsen preceded Rhodes at No. 67 while the Vikings cornerback was followed by Washington tight end Jordan Reed.

Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward, Broncos cornerback Chris Harris, Jr., Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake and Indianapolis wide receiver T.Y. Hilton rounded out Monday’s list.