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One of the biggest, if not the biggest need for the Miami Dolphins going into this draft was cornerback.  Miami traded up from #42 to #38 with the Baltimore Ravens to take Baylor CB Xavien Howard.  The Dolphins gave up their 4th round pick to make the move up to selct Howard.

 

New DC Vance Joseph likes bigger CB that can play press coverage, and Xavien fits the bill at 6'0, 201 lbs, .  Shout out to my fellow Phinfever Draft Guru Mark Grimm, as he had Howard mocked to Miami in his last mock draft.  The Dolphins had a private workout with Howard and their interest in the young man was apparent.

 

Below is the summary from

Overview

After two years of watching the Baylor defense from the sidelines, Howard was enough of a playmaker as a sophomore and junior that he left early for the NFL. He redshirted in 2012, and then had five tackles as a reserve cornerback and special teamer the following year. Howard worked his way onto the field as a sophomore and never left, starting all 26 games over the past two seasons. He used his NFL-sized frame to make 93 tackles as well as led the team in interceptions (four in 2014, five in 2015) and pass breakups (13, 10) in both years, twice garnering honorable mention All-Big 12 notice from league coaches.

 

Pro Day Results


40-yard dash: 4.41 seconds
Vertical: 38 1/2 inches
Broad jump: 10 feet, 5 inches
3-cone: 6.94 seconds

Analysis

Strengths

Has feet to impede and crowd receivers from press. Short-area accelerator to chase and close on slants and crossers. Has hips that swivel open for easy turn-and-run ability. Asked to be an island corner all game long. Confidence level soared in 2015. Instinctive with ball skills that are undeniable. Uses well-timed head turn to find ball and react. Scrapes, claws, scratches, clubs and tears and the catch point to disrupt. Has 32 passes defensed, including nine interceptions, over last two years. Big and physical in coverage.

Weaknesses

Quicker than fast with questionable long speed. Handsy and panics when he thinks he might get beat. Mauls like a bear downfield rather than trusting his technique. Has 14 pass interference and 5 holding penalties against him over last two seasons. Speed tends to diminish when turning to find the ball. Will lose feel for receivers at break point. Allowed seven touchdowns in 2014. Not a "get downhill and attack" run defender and stays glued to blocked.

Draft Projection

Rounds 2 or 3

Sources Tell Us

"I love his 'see ball, get ball' attitude. I thought he would run a 4.47 at the combine, so I'll go back and double check the tape, but we value ball skills over speed so my grade won't change based on his 40." -- AFC East scout

NFL Comparison

Jamell Fleming

Bottom Line

Howard's feast or famine playing style makes for very uneven tape and teams will have to weigh his ball production against his pass interference issues. Howard has the size and short area quickness to operate from press coverage, but might need safety help his way while he is weaned from his grabby, collegiate style of coverage. Howard has starter's potential, but must improve his technique and step up his run support to be successful in the league. NFL.Com.

 


 

 


 

 

ESPN INSIDER ANALYSIS

ESPN INSIDER ANALYSIS **

 

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