Kader Kohou gets some love from Mike McDaniel after stellar game against New England Patriots

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Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Network

The Miami Dolphins won their Week 1 contest versus the New England Patriots behind a number of different strong performances from players on the roster.

Rookie cornerback Kader Kahou had arguably the most surprising strong outing, however, and on Wednesday, Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel shouted out the young defensive back.

Kohou’s rise to a prominent role in the Dolphins defensive scheme is pretty surprising because he’s an undrafted rookie. Despite that, the 5-foot-10, 195-pound rookie out of Texas A&M University-Commerce put in a fabulous showing and ended up as Pro Football Focus’ No. 1 ranked rookie for Week 1.

He played 18 defensive snaps in Sunday’s win and finished with a forced fumble. His performance helped a dramatically depleted defensive backfield for the Dolphins. Byron Jones was placed on the team’s reserve/PUP list prior to the start of the season and will be out for a few more games.

Beyond that, the Dolphins lost corners Trill Williams and Mackensie Alexander for the season due to injuries.

For the Dolphins, Kohou’s rise may help lessen the sting that has come from the progression, or perhaps lack thereof, of Noah Igbinoghene. Igbinoghene was the No. 30 overall pick for the Dolphins in the 2020 NFL Draft, and while he played 16 games (two starts) in his rookie season, he played just seven games last season and recorded just one start.

He’s spent a fair number of games on the team’s inactive list as a healthy scratch. At this point, he seems destined to become a first-round bust.

As for Kohou, he had some fantastic plays during Miami’s dominant win over its AFC East rivals. His fumble was a heads-up play that effectively sealed the win for the Dolphins in the fourth quarter.

The pass he broke up just a couple minutes prior was another highlight in a really impressive debut for the relative unknown.

Things won’t get easier for Kohou or the rest of the Dolphins defense in the next few weeks. Matchups against the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals will all be huge tests for the Dolphins.

Coming out of that stretch with two wins would be a massive victory for the Dolphins.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NFL. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Dolphin Nation.