Team building in the NFL is about more than first-round picks and lavish free-agent signings. A good portion of the league is found in the margins, and the Miami Dolphins seem to have found a potential building block in those margins in cornerback Kader Kohou.
Kohou was not a prospect getting a lot of buzz entering the 2022 NFL draft. He played at a little-known program called Texas A&M-Commerce, where he was a two-time All-Lone Star Conference and won a Division II national championship in 2017. Kohou signed with the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent and quickly made an impression during training camp. After showing flashes of potential in limited time against New England and Baltimore in the first two weeks, Kohou’s playing time spiked dramatically, playing 50-plus snaps in 12 of the final 13 games he appeared in.
In almost 900 total snaps, he was in coverage for 630 of them and was targeted 115 times while recording 63 tackles and 10 pass breakups — both were fifth-highest among rookies — and an interception. According to Pro Football Focus, his 68.8 grade in coverage was second on the team and first among cornerbacks.
Kohou’s ascension came at a position of need, with the Dolphins potentially looking to give the cornerback room a facelift. Xavien Howard took a major step back last year, Nik Needham tore his ACL, and Byron Jones could be moved as a potential cap casualty after not playing a snap in 2022.
With new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio coming to work his magic with the Miami defense, it will be interesting to see how Kohou’s skills are utilized and where he fits into the team’s long-term plans. The worst-case scenario is he is a depth piece that can come in and play the nickelback spot. Either way, Kohou has more than outperformed his expectations coming out of college.