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The rise of Kevin Byard, one of the league’s brightest young stars

Byard probably doesn’t get the attention he deserves, but his consistency from season to season warrants high-praise, especially because of his third-round pedigree.
His career grading has steadily improved every year since his rookie campaign in 2016, and now Byard has established himself as one of the league’s best at his position.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at his career progression and what has made him such a valuable asset in the Titans’ secondary.
Being a complete defender at any position is difficult, but Byard has proven he can play at a high level in multiple facets of the game as both a run stuffer and against the pass.
While Byard’s rookie year wasn’t outstanding, it was obvious that the Titans had drafted an impact player.
In coverage especially, Byard made a huge difference by allowing a passer rating of just 60.4 across his 429 coverage snaps.
In addition to his coverage abilities, Byard also made vast improvements in run defense and finished the year with a run-defense grade of 82.0 over 382 snaps.
Overall, Byard put his stamp on both the Titans’ defense and the NFL by finishing with the team’s highest overall grade (87.0) – eighth among all safeties.
His passer rating allowed fell to a career-best 55.8 that ranked sixth among qualified safeties and his run defense improved once again, as he finished with the second-highest run-defense grade (89.0) at his position.
Byard fell to the Titans at the 64th pick despite putting together strong seasons at Middle Tennessee State from 2014-2015.

NASHVILLE, TN – SEPTEMBER 11: Kevin Byard #31 of the Tennessee Titans plays against the Minnesota Vikings at Nissan Stadium on September 11, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

In just three seasons, Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard has strung together an impressive start to his career and has put every offensive coordinator on notice. Byard probably doesn’t get the attention he deserves, but his consistency from season to season warrants high-praise, especially because of his third-round pedigree. His career grading has steadily improved every year since his rookie campaign in 2016, and now Byard has established himself as one of the league’s best at his position. Let’s take a more in-depth look at his career progression and what has made him such a valuable asset in the Titans’ secondary.

Byard has been trending in the right direction ever since his emergence into the NFL, seeing overall grades of 68.5, 87.0, and 88.4 over his first three seasons. Being a complete defender at any position is difficult, but Byard has proven he can play at a high level in multiple facets of the game as both a run stuffer and against the pass. In fact, Byard is the only safety to have earned a grade of 82.0 or higher in both run defense and coverage in each of the last two years.

While Byard’s rookie year wasn’t outstanding, it was obvious that the Titans had drafted an impact player. In coverage especially, Byard made a huge difference by allowing a passer rating of just 60.4 across his 429 coverage snaps. He finished his rookie…

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