Second-year safety Kevin Byard is the only Tennessee Titans player to be named to the first-team All-Pro squad selected by the Associated Press.
Byard, who tied for the NFL lead with eight interceptions this season, received the second most votes among safeties behind Minnesota’s Harrison Smith, who is the other safety on the All-Pro team, which was announced Friday. Byard, a second-year player from Middle Tennessee, led the league in takeaways this season, as he also had a pair of fumble recoveries.
“I would say my confidence is pretty high right now,” Byard said earlier this week. “But going into the playoffs, none of that matters now. The only thing that matters is getting the win. If we don’t get the win, then all the year I’ve had is all for naught. So I’m going to go out there and try to get the win and play my best football.”
The Titans visit the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday in the AFC Wild-Card Playoffs.
Byard’s turnovers came in bunches, as he had three interceptions in the Titans’ 12-9 win at Cleveland and picked off two more passes in Tennessee’s playoff-clinching win Sunday vs. Jacksonville. His interception of Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles with 10 seconds to play sealed the win for the Titans. Oddly enough, Byard was passed over for the Pro Bowl.
While Byard was the only Titan on the first team, punter Brett Kern was chosen to the second-team behind Johnny Hekker of the Los Angeles Rams.
Left tackle Taylor Lewan received five votes at his position, while right tackle Jack Conklin, an All-Pro as a rookie last year, received two votes this season.
The only other Titans player to receive consideration in the voting was Titans cornerback Logan Ryan, who received one vote at defensive back, which serves as a nickelback type position in the voting.