The Tennessee Titans proved to have one of the best secondaries in the NFL last season, and Pro Football Focus ranks them in the top-ten.
Whether it’s Kevin Byard, Adoree’ Jackson, Kenny Vaccaro, or Malcolm Butler, the Tennessee Titans have some good, if not great, defenders in its secondary.
Unfortunately, the Titans parted ways with corner Logan Ryan, but they have added some new faces to replace him. Johnathan Joseph was signed in free agency to be the veteran in the locker room for the secondary, and the Titans drafted Kristian Fulton out of LSU to pick up the slack in production.
Pro Football Focus hasn’t been too generous to the Titans’ offense this offseason, but PFF’s Steve Palazzolo ranked the Titans’ secondary in the top-ten in the NFL.
“Kevin Byard is the best player in Tennessee’s secondary,” Palazzolo said. “He narrowly missed PFF’s list of the best 50 players in the NFL entering the season, but on reflection, he probably shouldn’t have. Byard was good, not great, last season, but that performance came off the back of two excellent campaigns. Over that entire three-year period, Byard earned the fourth-best PFF grade among all safeties, and he played more snaps than any of the players ahead of him. Byard has elite coverage skills, yet he is also an underrated player against the run. He has missed a total of just 10 tackles in the last two seasons.
“Kenny Vaccaro was Byard’s safety partner last season. However, he could be pushed for a starting spot by Amani Hooker, who marginally outshined Vaccaro on his 335 snaps as a rookie before struggling during the playoffs.
“Logan Ryan departs from the team’s 2019 cornerback unit, but the team brought in veteran Johnathan Joseph and drafted LSU’s Kristian Fulton. Fulton may be the best zone cornerback in the draft and was a steal in the second round; he has the ability to make game-changing plays on the football in coverage, and he should push to start right away.
“Meanwhile, Malcolm Butler hasn’t been the same player in Tennessee as he was for a stretch in New England, though he remains a solid member of the secondary, albeit one who will be beaten at times. The big thing that will need to be resolved is how the team defends the slot with no Ryan in 2020. Ryan played the majority of his snaps (855 of them, including the playoffs) inside as a bigger-bodied, physical presence there, and the Titans will need to figure out how to replace that production.”
The Titans’ secondary was a leading force in the defense and kept offenses in check through the air throughout the season. If the secondary wouldn’t have shown up like they did
The 2020 season will serve as an opportunity for the Titans to do the same when it comes to dominance in the secondary.
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