As the season draws closer and closer, the Tennessee Titans continue to see players ranked among the best in their positions.
Recently, ESPN named their top 10 safeties and it should come as no surprise that Kevin Byard topped the list.
The safety position is difficult to isolate because when a safety thrives, it usually has something to do with defensive front resistance and cornerback coverage. The reason Byard continues to be ranked among the NFL‘s top safeties is because he’s still one of the most opportunistic players in the NFL when those boxes are checked.
2020 has been an off season for everyone on the Tennessee Titans defense, but even if you include that off year, he averaged 5 INTs, 11 PBUs, and 92 tackles as a starter.
In case you overlook that, an average season for Kevin Byard is a career season for most league safeties. People need to do a better job of remembering that when talking about the best in the league.
In Amani Hooker’s first season as a starter, he made enough of an impression to be listed as an “honorable mention” and it’s fair to assume he’s going to keep improving.
The Tennessee Titans should be the elite in defense
It’s slightly frustrating to see analysts talk about the various stars of Titans defense and then see them fail to give credit to the unit as a whole. For example, over the past week, Jeffery Simmons and Kevin Byard have been recognized as elite players in these ESPN rankings.
Two “other” guys on that defensive front include Denico Autry who is the NFL’s most underrated passing thrower and Harold Landry who is not far behind him. These two combined for 24 sacks last season in the regular season and playoffs.
Then you also have Kristian Fulton who is one of best borderline cornerbacks in the NFL, and Zach Cunningham who was the NFL’s top running linebacker for half a decade.
It’s an exceptional group from top to bottom, and it doesn’t even include David Long, Bud Dupree, Elijah Molden and high-profile guys like Rashad Weaver and Caleb Farley who could have an impact if they’re healthy this year.
As always, watch out for people paying attention to the Tennessee Titans and don’t get too caught up in the rest of the national media landscape. They will all recognize how dominant this defense can be and while they catch up with us, enjoy the rave reviews scouts and coaches are giving these individual Titans players.