MVP, Breakout Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year: Kevin Byard
The team’s most valuable player, defensive player of the year, and breakout player of the year has to be Kevin Byard. In his second year with the team, Byard, a safety who didn’t even earn a combine invite, did it all for Tennessee. He made tackles in the run game, he covered opposing tight ends and wide receivers at an elite level, and he created game-changing turnovers by recovering and causing fumbles and snagging interceptions. GM Jon Robinson took a risk on a player he liked by selecting Byard out of Middle Tennessee State University in the third round, but this risk has paid off in spades since, as Byard has come out of nowhere to be named a first team All-Pro.
Byard has a bright future as a defensive building block for Tennessee at the free safety position. Under a new DB Coach with a proven track record and a new DC Dean Pees who has experienced success with talented safeties in the past, Byard can only continue to get better, which is a welcome proposition for Titans fans and a scary possibility for the rest of the league. Byard is a rising star who rose to elite status in 2017, which leads to him receiving three separate awards, including the Most Valuable Player award.