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90-in-90 Miami Dolphins roster breakdown: Xavien Howard

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Denver Broncos v Miami Dolphins Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Time for the next edition of the Miami Dolphins 90-in-90 series, a daily look at an individual player on the team’s preseason 90-man roster. We stick with the defense today in our random selection of players to highlight.

Our annual 90-in-90 series works through all of the players on the team’s roster. For each player, we take a look back at their 2017 performance, followed by a look at what to expect from them in 2018, either progression or regression. Finally, we look at the chances the player has to make the 53-man roster at the end of the preseason. We have completed ten posts in the series, including wide receiver Leonte Carroo, punter Matt Haack, safety T.J. McDonald, running back Buddy Howell, wide receiver DeVante Parker, defensive end William Hayes, wide receiver Isaiah Ford, safety/cornerback Walt Aikens, defensive end Claudy Mathieu, and linebacker Kiko Alonso. Today, we move to cornerback Xavien Howard.

2017 Review

Entering 2017, the expectations for Howard grew into him being ready to be a true shutdown corner. While he did not become a household name during the season, he did show the ability to mirror opposing type receivers throughout the season. He started all 16 games for Miami, recording four interceptions with one returned for a touchdown, along with 13 passes defensed one sack and 48 tackles. He got better as the season went along, and he showed that he is ready to be a number one cornerback.

Why he will progress

Now entering his third season, Howard appears to be everything the Dolphins want him to be. With the additional help that the team has given him, including Cordrea Tankersley entering his second season and the return of Tony Lippett, Howard should be able to lock onto one receiver for each game and take that player out of the equation for opposing offenses.

Why he will regress

Injury to either himself or to other cornerbacks? That does appear to be the only thing that could hold back Howard from becoming a star cornerback in the league.

Chances of making the 53-man roster

Howard is clearly a lock for the roster and a starting position. Now, he needs to be focused on becoming a Pro Bowl cornerback.