NFL Hot Press: Teams Grading Xavien Howard in the Early Rounds

Teams Grading Xavien Howard in the Early Rounds

Updated Feb. 23, 2016
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

Every year, there are some early-entry players in the NFL Draft who go under the radar with the media despite teams being impressed with them. In speaking with sources at five different teams, Baylor cornerback Xavien Howard would fit that description this year. All five teams had Howard graded in the first three rounds, with some being very bullish about his NFL prospects. No team had Howard lower than an early third-round pick.

One team picking in the top 10 said they have a first-round grade on Howard and project him going late in the first. Another playoff team said they had Howard graded as a high second-round pick. Two other teams said they had Howard on the bubble of the second and third round. Those were the lowest grades on Howard among the five teams. The fifth team saw him as a mid second-round pick.

Sources say they wouldn’t be surprised if Howard becomes a hot name at or after the NFL Scouting Combine. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder has great size, and teams are impressed with his 2015 tape. As a junior, Howard totaled 42 tackles with 10 breakups and five interceptions for the Bears. He isn’t a one-year wonder either. In 2014, he had 51 stops with 13 breakups and four interceptions.

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