Big things are expected from the returning Xavien Howard.
The Dolphins have made some additions to their defensive back end. That is making the secondary a crowded/competitive position. With that said, there is no doubt that Xavien Howard is expected to be a starter heading into 2020.
The former Baylor Bear, who was drafted in 2016, went without an interception in his rookie year. Since then, however, he posted 4 interceptions in 2017 and a league-tying 7 INTs in 2018; this despite missing 4 games with ankle and knee injuries. Last season, Howard only logged one interception but that was mostly due to playing in only 5 games because of continued problems with his right knee.
When healthy, Howard is a ball-hawking corner and one of the best cornerbacks in the league. However, as I illustrated in the previous paragraph, health has been a concern and looms as a threat to derail a big year by Howard in 2020.
Thankfully, for Howard and the Dolphins, Howard does not need to worry about missing time for his “domestic battery” arrest in December (which, for the record, was dismissed in February of this year.)
Xavien Howard should make up half of what could be the best cornerback tandems in the NFL this year.
What’s expected of Xavien Howard headed into 2020, if healthy?
With the signing of Byron Jones away from Dallas, the Dolphins now potentially have one of the top cornerback tandems. It’s certainly the best the team has seen since the days of Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain.
With an anticipated major improvement in pass-rushing defense, it would not be out of the question for Howard to put up 5-8 interceptions and play a major part in vastly improving the Dolphins 26th ranked pass defense from last year.