The Miami Dolphins have been looking for dependable corners for years and this season is no different. This front office has been drafting, signing, waiver claiming, and trading to find the answers at the position. Dolphins entered this season looking for a sidekick for X-Man Xavien Howard. Eric Rowe started the year opposite Howard but since then injuries have shuffled guys in and out including Howard. Rowe has since been moved inside to corner after the trade of Minkah and injuries to Aikens and Jones.
Since week 9 Needham has had an increase in snaps with starter with Xavien Howard on IR. Nik Needham had a very shaky preseason and ended up on the practice squad. Since the Jets game in week 9 Needham has stepped up his game and has accounted himself better than good. Needham was in 63 of a possible 67 defensive snaps against the Jets.
In week 10 against the Colts, Needham had a career day targeted 8 times allowing only 3 catches for 34 yards getting his first career interception and breaking up another. PFF graded Needham an elite 90.3 overall and was the highest graded Dolphins player for week 10.
Needham followed that performance up against the Bills with a PFF grade of 83.6 a 45.5 completion % allowed, 3 defensive stops, 1 forced fumble, a pass defended, and earned a spot on PFF’s team of the week. Needham was left on an island several times during the game and he accounted for himself like a veteran not a rookie.
I don’t know if Nik Needham falls into the core building block for the future at this moment. One thing I do know is if Needham can continue to stack games together like the past 2 games, I would add his name to Howard, Tankersley, and McCain as guys to build around. I would put McCain back in the slot and infuse young studs into the Safety positions through the draft, trade, or free agency.