PRO: Since the Titans selected Kevin Byard with the first pick of the third round in the 2016 NFL Draft, he has established himself as one of the premier safeties in the NFL and one of the best at his position in franchise history. During his first six seasons, he contributed to six consecutive winning seasons and did not miss a single game. He finished the 2021 campaign as a three-time team captain, two-time Pro Bowl selection and a two-time Associated Press first-team All-Pro. His interception total was 11th on the franchise's all-time list and sixth among all Titans/Oilers safeties. From 2017 through 2021, Byard led all NFL safeties and ranked third among all players with 23 interceptions. The 5-foot-11-inch, 212-pound defender is a product of Middle Tennessee State University, where he earned a reputation as a sideline-to-sideline, ball-hawking safety who plays with tremendous intelligence and effort.
• In 2021, Byard was announced as a starter to his second career Pro Bowl and earned first-team Associated Press All-Pro honors for the second time in his career. He joined Bruce Matthews (1999–2000) and Albert Haynesworth (2007–2008) as the franchise's only players in its "Titans era" (since 1999) to earn multiple first-team AP All-Pro honors.
• At the conclusion of 2021, Byard's 88 consecutive starts in the regular season was the leading current streak among all Titans players, ranked first in the NFL among defenders, and was the sixth-longest active streak among all players.
• Byard led the Titans in 2021 with five interceptions and 88 tackles, becoming the franchise's first player to lead the team in tackles and interceptions in the same season since the team began tracking individual tackle statistics in 1974. It was his second consecutive season to lead the club in tackles and the fourth time in his career he was the interceptions leader. Additionally, his 13 passes defensed made up the highest total among NFL safeties.
• He scored his first two career touchdowns in 2021—one on a fumble return and one on an interception return—to become the first Titans player with two defensive touchdowns in the same season since linebacker Zach Brown in 2012.
• In 2020, Byard was named the team's Walter Payton Man of the Year for his work in the community.
• Byard led the team and set a career-high in 2020 with 111 tackles.
• From 2017 through 2019, Byard led the NFL with 17 interceptions.
• In 2019, Byard led the team in interceptions (five) for the third consecutive season, while starting every contest for the third consecutive season.
• In 2018, Byard led the team with four interceptions and ranked third on the team with 96 tackles and 10 passes defensed.
• In 2017, Byard was named to the Pro Bowl and earned first-team Associated Press All-Pro honors after tying Detroit's Darius Slay for the NFL lead with eight interceptions. He added a pair of fumble recoveries to pace the league with 10 total takeaways.
• His eight interceptions in 2017 tied for seventh in franchise history and made up the highest total by any franchise player since Oilers cornerback Richard Johnson picked off eight passes in 1990.
• In 2016, Byard saw action in all 16 games with seven starts and compiled 63 tackles, a sack, five tackles for loss, three quarterback pressures, four passes defensed and 10 special teams tackles. His seven starts were the most by a Titans rookie safety since Michael Griffin (10) in 2007.
• In May 2022, Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Lithonia, Ga., renamed its updated athletic facilities in Byard's honor. Byard graduated from the school in 2011.
• Along with his wife, Clarke, Byard has made a profound impact in the Nashville community through the Byard Family Legacy Fund. With the mission to "provide ALL families and individuals in our community with hope, making sure everyone who needs it gets a second chance," the organization annually holds a back-to-school program, Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas fundraiser and football camp. It also changes lives through the "Grace Grant," which provides funds to individuals or organizations who need a second chance.
• In 2021, the Byard Family Legacy Fund used its "Grace Grant" to renovate the Davidson County Department of Children's Services' Safe Room. The room is designed to help reduce trauma for children who come into custody for child abuse and/or child neglect.
• In April 2022, Byard served as the honorary chair for the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research's annual event called "Rally On the Runway," which helped raise more than $556,000 to fund research and aid families with children fighting cancer.
• In July 2020, Byard was named the official spokesperson for the United Way of Greater Nashville. His first order of business was to participate in the organization's virtual Stuff the Bus school supply drive.
• In August 2020, Byard assisted his wife, Clarke, in the unintentional home birth of their son, Kevin Leon Byard IV. After realizing they were not going to be able to make it to the hospital and their doula needing 30 minutes to get to their home, Byard sprung into action with instructions from the doula. The first: "Let's try and get her in the bathtub." But by this time, his son's head was already visible. The doula told him, "Tell her to start pushing. The baby is coming." Byard recalled: "His face was pointing upward, so I could see his face was real purple. I was nervous about that, so she told me to support his head." In less than 15 minutes, he was holding Kevin IV in his arms. "Once he got his head out, his shoulders and everything just kind of slipped out, and I kind of caught him in my arms. He waited about five seconds, coughed about two or three times, and started crying."
• Byard credits his mother, the late Artina Stanley, for much of his success. Following a divorce when Byard was in ninth grade, his mother moved with the children from Philadelphia to Atlanta. Although it was a financial struggle, Stanley worked long hours to make sure her children received what they needed. Byard claims he and his older brother "had to grow up really fast" as they helped their mother with taking care of the younger kids in the family. In May 2020, Byard was able to accomplish a goal of helping to purchase his mother a new home. She passed away in June 2022.
• The Titans had an inside track in their scouting of Byard. Titans general manager Jon Robinson received glowing reports on Byard from his friend and MTSU recruiting coordinator Steve Ellis. When Robinson was a linebackers coach at Nicholls State, Ellis was one of his pupils, and the two remained close through the years. Additionally, Patrick Callaway, college scout for the Titans, was Byard's high school teammate.
• Byard says his football role models are Ed Reed, Brian Dawkins and Troy Polamalu.
• Byard has aspirations to travel the world, and his bucket list includes setting foot on every continent.
• The Lithonia, Ga., native was selected by the Titans in the third round (64th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft.
• During a four-year career at Middle Tennessee State, he appeared in 49 games and notched 46 starts at safety. He set school records with 19 career interceptions, 377 interception return yards and four interception returns for touchdowns. He finished sixth in MTSU history with 312 career tackles. In 49 career games, he had a hand in 25 turnovers (19 interceptions, five forced fumbles and one fumble recovery). Had 17 additional career passes defensed and five tackles for loss. He was twice named first-team All-Conference USA.
• As a senior (2015), appeared in 12 games with nine starts as a permanent team captain. Ranked fourth on the team with 66 tackles and led the squad with four interceptions and six additional pass breakups. Ranked second among safeties with 718 snaps played. Named first-team All-Conference USA for the second consecutive season. Against North Texas on Nov. 21, 2015, he set the Middle Tennessee State record with his 18th career interception. He picked off another pass the following week to finish his career with 19 interceptions.
• As a junior (2014), played and started all 12 games and led the team with six interceptions. Ranked fourth on the team with 66 tackles, including three tackles for loss, and added four pass breakups, two forced fumbles and a blocked kick. Ranked seventh nationally and first in Conference USA in interceptions. Played a team-high 980 snaps. Named first-team All-Conference USA.
• As a sophomore (2013), played and started all 13 games. Registered a career-best 106 tackles to finish second on the team. Led the team with five interceptions. Also finished with an additional five pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Equaled his own school mark with two interceptions returned for touchdowns. Led the team with 996 snaps played. Voted honorable mention All-Conference USA.
• As a redshirt freshman (2012), started all 12 games and led the team with four interceptions. Tied for third on the team with 74 tackles and added two pass breakups, two forced fumbles and a hurry. Equaled the school record with two interception returns for touchdowns and set the single-season record for interception return yards with 167. Led the entire team with 925 total snaps played and had 80 or more snaps four times. Named FWAA Freshman All-American, second-team All-SBC. Against Troy (11/24), forced three turnovers in win with two interceptions and a forced fumble to go with a pass breakup and six tackles. Second pick went for 77 yards and game-winning score late in fourth quarter. Named the SBC Defensive Player of the Week and the College Performance Awards National Defensive Back of the Week.
• As a freshman (2011), redshirted.
• Graduated in May 2015 with a degree in liberal studies.
• He splits time between Nashville and Lithonia, Ga., with his wife, Clarke, their daughter, Eliana, and their son, Kevin Leon Byard IV.
• Attended M.L. King (Lithonia, Ga.), where as a senior he totaled 94 tackles, two interceptions, two blocked punts, and two fumble recoveries on defense. On offense, he recorded 35 receptions for 723 yards and six touchdowns, as well as 245 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. Also returned 12 kickoffs for 350 yards and a touchdown.
• Voted Class AAAAA first-team all-state by the Atlanta Journal Constitution and the Associated Press. Earned all-region honors on offense and defense, while also garnering all-area and all-county accolades.
• Also lettered in track as a high school athlete.
• Byard has three brothers and three sisters and is the second oldest of the group.
• List of favorites: (TV show) "Martin"; (movie) "Wolf of Wall Street" and "Paid in Full"; (musician or band) Future; (food) Philadelphia cheesesteaks and hot wings; (childhood sports teams) Philadelphia 76ers; (athlete as a child) Allen Iverson; and (guilty pleasure) late-night snacks.
• Follow Byard on Twitter at @KevinByard.
• Follow Byard on Instagram at @kb31_savage.
• Born Kevin Leon Byard Jr. on Aug. 17, 1993 in Philadelphia, Pa.