Xavien Howard attended Wheatley High School in Houston, TX where he played both cornerback and quarterback for the football team. Following his high school football career, Howard committed to Baylor University.
Howard played for the Baylor Bears football team for three seasons, compiling 98 tackles and 10 interceptions. At Baylor's Pro Day, Howard helped increase his draft stock by improving his numbers from the NFL Scouting Combine. Howard was projected as a second or third-round pick and ranked as the No. 8 overall cornerback by NFLDraftScout.com.
The Miami Dolphins selected Howard in the second round with the No. 38 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Howard was the sixth cornerback taken in the NFL Draft.
In the early days of his rookie campaign, Howard suffered a knee injury and was forced to miss the first three preseason games. Still, Howard was named the Dolphins starting cornerback alongside veteran Byron Maxwell. In the season opener, Howard had a season-high 11 total tackles. Over the course of his rookie NFL season, Howard compiled 40 total tackles and six pass breakups in eight games.
Howard was the Dolphins No. 1 cornerback entering the 2017 NFL season. Howard began to cement his place as one of the NFL's top cornerbacks with his performances. He was recognized as the AFC Defensive Player of the Week following the Dolphins' 27-20 win against the New England Patriots on Monday Night Footballin which he had three pass breakups and two interceptions off Tom Brady.
Despite missing four games during the 2018 NFL season, Howard still managed to tie for the league lead in interceptions with seven. Howard earned his first Pro Bowl nod and was second-team All-Pro. Howard recently signed a five-year $76.5 million contract extension with $46 million guaranteed, making him the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL.