Photo of Kevin Byard
Drafted By: Titans
  • Round 3
  • Pick 1
  • Overall 64
Grade
5.28 ?

Draft Analysis:

"I don't know if he can cover man on a consistent basis, but he finds the football in the air." -- Mike Mayock

  • 5'11" Height
  • 33 1/2" Arm Length
  • 216LBS. Weight
  • 9 7/8" Hands

Overview

Although Byard looks and plays (312 career tackles) like a strong safety, he often finds himself in the back half of the secondary guarding the prize for the Blue Raiders. He’s at the top of the active player career interception list with 19, scoring on four of them in his first two years on campus, and has broken up 17 passes during that time. A four-time all-conference pick, Byard was a second-team All-Sun Belt pick (and FWAA Freshman All-American) in 2012 before garnering honorable mention All-Conference USA notice in 2013 and first team accolades in C-USA the past two seasons.


Pro Day Results


40-yard dash: 4.44 seconds
Vertical: 38 inches
Broad jump: 9 feet
Short shuttle: 4.15 seconds
3-cone: 6.73 seconds
Bench: 22 reps of 225 pounds

Analysis

Strengths

Strong football IQ. Lines secondary up and is assignment-­oriented. Disciplined in zone coverage reading and responding to the quarterback’s eyes. Scans through route developments like a quarterback. Good awareness as single-­high safety and rarely panics when faced with route combinations meant to create mistakes and indecision. Plays with smooth backpedal and adequate footwork and looks to have. Always active. Former high school receiver with plus ball tracking and ball skills over the top. Holds school record with 19 career interceptions and has 19 passes defensed over the last two years. Effort never questioned and brings desired football character onto field and into locker room. Willing downhill charge against the run.

Weaknesses

Despite his frame, not as physical a hitter as expected. Had opportunities to make the big hit but rarely chose to send that message. Active tackler, but needs to be better at squaring up and finishing with direct wrap ­up tackles rather than grab and drag finishes. Average agility to deal with trash near line of scrimmage when stepping downhill against run or screens. Can improve his angles to the ball. Slight hitch in when redirecting opening door for dangerous separation by speedy targets. Below average mirror and match in man coverage. Scouts concerned with overall long speed in coverage.

Draft Projection

Rounds 6 or 7

Sources Tell Us

"Ankle tackler so that's a concern and I just don't trust him in coverage. I know he has all the interceptions but I don't see a player who can match up in space against NFL-­caliber receivers. I know some scouts love him because of his football IQ, but that’s not enough for me." -- NFC Director of Scouting

Bottom Line

Byard is a four­-year starter whose ball skills and high interception total has garnered him attention since his freshman season. While he has the looks of a player who could excel near the box, he lacks the consistent physicality needed and he does his best work as a deep safety. Scouts are all over the place on Byard and his draft stock will head in one direction or the other starting with his week at the Senior Bowl.
-Lance Zierlein
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster

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