The new cornerback will play a big role in the Colts’ pass defense and will determine how good it can be.
Xavier Rhodes has a lot of talent in him. In his first seven years in Minnesota, he made the Pro Bowl three times and was named First Team All-Pro once. Even though some people seem to think he wasn’t that good last year, he was still good enough to make the Pro Bowl.
Rhodes joins a pass defense that was incredibly porous over the last month of 2019. It was one of the most disappointing collapses I’ve seen a defense have. They couldn’t communicate right or get coverages correct. In response, the Colts gave up 129 points in the month of December alone.
Adding Rhodes gives the team a corner who is rangy and has good ball skills. He’s also decently sized at 6’1 and 218 pounds. That size will help him play press coverage well and give the safeties more time to get to where they need to be, which was an issue last season.
Chris Ballard decided to only give Rhodes a one-year deal as he turns 30 this season. Corners don’t have the best track record once they reach that age. But Rhodes has a chance to earn himself a spot on the roster longer if he plays well in 2020.
The Colts need someone they can count on
There is not a single person in the secondary who has made a Pro Bowl in the secondary besides Rhodes. He has the most talent in the Colts secondary and will need to show some serious leadership qualities. This is an extremely young group of players.
Rhodes is the oldest member of the secondary by far. That age will help other players look up to him. Rhodes did a decent job of leading while he was in Minnesota. A big season from Rhodes would go a long way to help the Colts get back into the playoffs.