Kevin Byard Leads NFL In INTs
Okay, so, they can’t all be “nuclear-level” takes– but anytime you’re projecting a league leader in an individual category, it should still be thought of as bold if nothing else.
But for a player as talented and as ball-hawking as Byard, finishing towards the top of the league in interceptions is starting to feel more like the expectation than an anomaly. After leading the NFL in picks in 2017 with eight, he placed in the top ten with four in 2018, and jumped back in the top five in 2019 with five– one away from tying for the league lead.
And heading into 2020, Byard has the roster and team schedule that should give him a chance to lead the NFL in picks once again. Quarterbacks can try to avoid throwing near Byard if they want, but with a talented secondary packed with veteran stars like Malcolm Butler and Kenny Vacarro and young players like Adoree Jackson and Kristian Fulton– opposing offenses won’t have an easy out anywhere on the field, which might lead to some risky passes being thrown in Byard’s direction.
Looking at the schedule the Titans have this year, it’s safe to assume that quarterbacks will be giving Tennessee their fair share of risky passes. The year will kick off against three opponents with risk-averse quarterbacks, but takes a dramatic shift heading into Week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers and 2018’s interceptions leader, Ben Roethlisberger.
Also on the schedule: Two of the NFL’s three interceptions leaders, Indianapolis’ Phillip Rivers (twice) and Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield. The league’s most inaccurate starting quarterback, Buffalo’s Josh Allen. A rookie, who at most will only have seven games as a starter heading into the matchup, Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow. And a date against the Chicago Bears and their revolving cast of uninspired quarterback options.
Byard might do more than just lead the league in interceptions– he could break his own career-best by the time the year is up.