One of the league’s top cornerbacks was once again recognized by his peers on the NFL’s Top 100 list after another stellar season.
Xavier Rhodes, who was twice-named an All-Pro and stymied numerous high-end wide receivers in 2017, was revealed as the 55th-ranked player Monday night on NFL Network. Players’ votes determine the rankings in the annual list.
The former first-round pick once again proved to be one of the league’s best corners, matching up against and shutting down top receivers during the regular season that included Michael Thomas (45 yards), Antonio Brown (62 yards), Julio Jones (24 yards) and A.J. Green (30 yards).
Rhodes started all 16 games and recorded two interceptions, one each against division foes Green Bay and at Detroit, to earn his second straight Pro Bowl nod.
Brown, Rhodes’ childhood friend from Miami, said he ranks Rhodes as one of the best defensive backs in the league.
“He’d have to be top five,” Brown said. “It was a great battle [in Week 2]. Neighborhood friends … I remember [us] playing street football together.”
Rhodes’ segment featured a bevy of wide receivers talking about their struggles going up against the 6-foot-1, 218-pound shutdown cornerback.
“Rhodes is phenomenal … he was best in the league this year,” said Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess. “And he’s fast and as strong as an ox.”
Added Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster: “He’s a big corner … that’s what most receivers fear.”
Rhodes, who has nine career interceptions, snagged the No. 66 spot during his first appearance in 2016.
He was the fourth Vikings player to be on this year’s list, joining wide receiver Stefon Diggs (No. 65), defensive tackle Linval Joseph (No. 83) and quarterback Kirk Cousins (No. 94).
“The best player at my position? I have to go with Xavier Rhodes,” said Browns safety Damarious Randall, who was a cornerback for Green Bay in 2017.
Oakland quarterback Derek Carr kicked off the show at No. 60, and was followed by Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward, Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette and Washington left tackle Trent Williams.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was up next at No. 56, followed by Rhodes, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and Rams cornerback Aqib Talib. Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry was No. 52. Broncos (and former Vikings) quarterback Case Keenum finished off the show.