Kevin Byard

Middle Tennessee State
SS #20
5’11” 216

Pros:

  • School record holder in INTs, INT yards, and pick-sixes
  • Compact build with equal frame and solid length (33 ½”)
  • Reads the quarterback’s eyes, allowing him to locate the ball
  • Aggressive player who fights the ball
  • Incredible long speed as he can run guys down
  • Fluid backpedal with smooth footwork and ability to transition
  • Possesses the instincts and awareness to excel as a single-high safety
  • Works downhill against the run
  • Dependable open-field tackler with a habit of creating turnovers
  • Desirable ball skills and tracking ability
  • Rarely out of position when dealing with route combinations

 

Cons:

  • Ability to mirror receivers needs improvement
  • Doesn’t square his pads on contact and finish on a consistent basis
  • Would like to see him improve his ability to sift through the trash
  • Below average top end speed
  • Physicality doesn’t support what his build and ability to create turnovers suggests
  • Rarely opts for the big hit

Despite being a two star recruit and redshirting as a freshman (2011), Byard developed into one of the nation’s best safeties. He started all 12 games in 2012 and finished tied for third on team with 74 tackles in addition to a team-best four interceptions, two pass breakups, two forced fumbles and a hurry; he was a Freshman All-American. Byard earned honorable mention All-C-USA honors the following season after starting all 13 games and leading the team with 106 tackles five interceptions; he also finished with five pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He was a force yet again in 2014 where he started all 12 games and ranked fourth on the team with 66 tackles, including three TFLs, a team-high six interceptions, four pass breakups, two forced fumbles and a blocked kick. After missing three games (targeting call, injury) he started nine games and posted 66 tackles, a team-high four interceptions, and six pass breakups as a first team All-C-USA selection.

Pro comp: Antoine Bethea

Draft projection: 5th round

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