The Miami Dolphins already had one of the highest paid corner backs in the league in Xavien Howard. This was before splashing the cash in free agency in luring Byron Jones from the Cowboys, as well as spending a 1st round pick on Auburn Tiger, Noah Igbinoghene. So it is perhaps a little surprising that Nik Needham has managed to carve out a role in the Dolphins secondary.
However, Nik Needham is not one to back down from a challenge. Despite setting a school record in passes defended at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), Needham went undrafted in 2019.
After impressing in training camp with the Miami Dolphins, he was signed to their practice squad before being brought up to face Washington in October.
It was during a week 9 tussle with divisional rivals, the New York Jets that Needham first came to my attention
He was scrappy and feisty, racking up 10 tackles. It was his sacking of Sam Darnold, flying of the left side of the line, that stood out to me. He finished the 2019 season as the Dolphins top pass defender.
With the reinforcements in the summer, Needham struggled in the first few weeks to see game time – logging on special teams snaps against the Patriots and Jaguars, and struggling against the Bills.
However, he has worked hard and found his way back into the defensive back rotation. He may not be the big name on the team, but his desire and hard work have taken him far. He epitomises the Dolphins under Brian Flores – tough, resilient and disciplined. Whilst he may not play every snap, and will have his ups and downs, Needham is a player I love watching.