After playing in the first four games of the season, Howard missed 9 games with a knee injury. That being said, the talented and physical rookie missed no time getting back into the game, making a huge impact when needed on defense to close the season. With Byron Maxwell also missing time, Howard stepped up and became the Dolphins number one corner, proving to have what it takes to go up against the NFL´s best wide receivers.
Howard closed the final four games of his rookie season (including the playoff game against the Steelers) with 17 total tackles (4 assisted) and an interception. He jammed receivers well at the line of scrimmage and had the make up speed to recover.
Because he missed half the season with an injury, we will still need time to see exactly what Howard is capable of, but entering his sophomore season will be a huge help.
Howard should thrive in new DC Matt Burke´s aggressive system, and the former 2nd round pick will only get better as the Dolphins add more pass rushers and get safety Reshad Jones back.
Xavien Howard´s final rookie grade: B