Kevin Byard, Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (September 12, 2015)

Kevin Byard – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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2016 NFL Draft Prospects: December 24, 2015 Bowl Games

by Contributor Sy’56


#20 FS Kevin Byard – 5’11/223

Fifth year senior. Will leave school as one of their all time greats. Has been starting since his redshirt freshman season. School record for career INTs (19). I bet if Byard was 3 inches taller and simply played at an SEC school, we are talking about a potential 1st rounder. His awareness and intelligence stands out on tape. He knows exactly what is going on around him in deep coverage at all times. He can turn his hips and accelerate well enough. He is a physical downhill tackler that is reliable in space. My only grip with him is the long speed. He won’t catch up to guys if they get by him and his range to the sideline in pursuit is limited. I’ve seen speed players outrun his angles more than a few times. Maybe a 3rd rounder because of the all the things he can do for a secondary, just needs to run fast enough.

Other Notables:

#80 WR Ed’Marques Batties – 6’0/198
#6 RB Jordan Parker – 6’1/214
#38 LB T.T. Barber – 6’1/238
#24 LB Cavellis Luckett – 6’0/241
#22 SS Quay Watt – 6’0/204


#70 LT Willie Beavers – 6’5/309

Fifth year senior and three year starter. Has some impressive tape against some of the best pass rushers the nation has to offer. He held his own against Joey Bosa and Shilique Calhoun, showing flawless and consistent mechanics, lower body strength, and easy awareness. I’ll be curious to see where he actually measures out, as I don’t think he has the ideal length for the outside. Beavers looks like a guard to me and I think he can be a 4th or 5th round pick there. He does the little things well and he has more than enough talent.

#7 CB Ronald Zamort – 5’10/174

Fifth year senior. Three year starter. 51 pass break ups over past three years which is among the nation’s leaders. May be another smaller than what he is listed. His lack of presence is noticeable. He gets pushed around by bigger receivers. He is a guy that will need to rely on quick feet and speed to last in the NFL and I’m not sure it’s good enough. He’s a fighter though. Very competitive and somehow gets his hands on a lot of balls. Has a feel for the position. UDFA, maybe draftable late.

Other Notables:

#1 S Rontavious Atkins – 6’0/207



#72 RG Darrell Greene – 6’4/315

I haven’t seen San Diego State yet this year, so this will be my first look at Greene. Three year starter. Honorable Mention All Mountain West in 2014. Was among 5 players that were suspended for the first 5 games of the 105 season for a violation of team rules last summer. I haven’t done any digging on what he did but that’s a hefty price, so it wasn’t little. I’ve been told he projects to be a backup in the NFL, maybe a 6th or 7th rounder. I need to get eyes on him though, this will be my first look.

Other Notables:

#71 RT Pearce Slater – 6’7/331
#46 FB Dakota Gordon – 5’10/236


*#11 QB Gunner Kiel – 6’4/208

Former #1 QB High School QB has had a wild ride. He hasn’t been practicing with the team because of an off field, non-disciplinary issue. So he may not even be playing in this contest. Many think he will declare for the draft. Kiel went to Notre Dame and redshirted, then had to sit out a year because of the transfer. He has all the arm talent you want in a QB and he is pretty mobile as well. Good feel for the game, can process information and find his reads consistently. He gets erratic when there is pressure around him and will rush a lot of throws. Mechanically he has a lot of work to do. If he comes out he could be a 4th or 5th rounder.

#15 WR Chris Moore – 6’2/190

Fifth year senior. He actually isn’t on the field as many as some of the other senior WRs they have, but Moore has the highest upside. His size and speed will open eyes. Very impressive skills. He can really get up there and out reach defensive backs. Strong and aggressive in traffic. Moore has the quick burst to deep speed that has made him one of the best deep threars in the nation over the past three years. Maybe a late rounder here.

#19 WR Shaq Washington – 5’9/179

Fifth year senior. Set the Bearcats career record for receptions this season (238). Small and shifty but has a power presence to him. He breaks a lot of tackles and will move defenders back that try to tackle him once he has a head of steam. He ran a very simple route tree art Cincinnati so it’s hard to tell how quickly he could transition to the NFL. But physically he has a solid potential out of the slot. Late rounder.

Other Notables:

#2 WR Mekale McKay – 6’5/210
#3 WR Johnny Holton – 6’2/191
#25 WR Max Morrison – 6’1/182
#80 WR Alex Chisum – 6’3/200
#92 DE Silverberry Mouhon – 6’3/255
#9 CB Leviticus Payne – 5’10/192