Photo credit: Wesley Hitt / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
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Tennessee Titans Free Safety Kevin Byard has come a long way in a very short time. The former 2016 third round draft pick went from being a rookie just a season ago to being tied for the most interceptions in pro football this year. Byard’s development has been incredible and suddenly the Titans have one of the best defensive backs in all the NFL. When you have one guy that is as good at taking away the football as Kevin Byard is that significantly increases your chances of winning football games. Playmakers are hard to find and the fact that Tennessee’s scouting department was able to peg the former Middle Tennessee State alum as legitimate third round choice says a lot about their work. Most staffs can pick out the first and second rounders but once you get beyond that it becomes tougher because the players are much less known. Byard recorded 19 interceptions during his collegiate career so he was no stranger to making plays on Saturdays. That doesn’t always translate over to the pros but fortunately for Byard he seems to be making the same explosive plays at the next level. We know Titans Defensive Coordinator Dick Lebeau likes to dial up a lot of blitzes. Having Byard roaming around over top allows Tennessee to run a very effective cover 1. The corners can man up and then Byard gets to play freely in the middle of the field. Really Byard thrives in a cover 2 or cover 3 as well because his ball instincts are so responsive based off the quarterback’s eyes / throwing motion. It’s the ability to do so many different things well which make Byard one of the up and coming free safety’s behind Earl Thomas. Expect to hear a lot more about the young defender in the future.
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