Photo of Xavien Howard
Drafted By: Dolphins
  • Round 2
  • Pick 7
  • Overall 38

Combine Results

5.6 ?
  • 4.58 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 11 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 33.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 122.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.18 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.15 SEC
    Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"This is another polarizing conversation. He has starter traits; good size, feet and change of direction. His tape is either really good or really bad." -- Mike Mayock

  • 6'0" Height
  • 31 1/4" Arm Length
  • 201LBS. Weight
  • 9 1/8" Hands


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



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.


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.
-Lance Zierlein
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster