Pro Football Focus, everyone’s favorite analytical football source, has put out their most recent rankings of all the NFL secondaries.
This is an update from earlier this year, when PFF ranked the NFL’s secondaries based on how they performed in 2016 back in January. Here’s what they had to say back then:
Top overall grade: S Kevin Byard, 79.0 (No. 42)
Top coverage grade: CB Brice McCain, 78.6 (No. 34)
Top run-defense grade: S Daimion Stafford, 78.9 (No. 32)
Most snaps: CB Brice McCain, 844
The Titans’ secondary was brought down by Perrish Cox, who, before getting cut towards the end of the season, was in the running to be the league’s lowest-graded cornerback. Brice McCain tied a career-high six touchdowns allowed, but overall, it was still an improvement over his recent seasons on a per-snap basis. Tennessee did get good play out of rookie safety Kevin Byard, who recorded the second-fewest yards allowed per snap in coverage among safeties.
PFF showed the Titans some love on Twitter the other day, pointing out the new additions to the back end of the Titans’ defense.
The Titans secondary looks much improved on paper heading into 2017 pic.twitter.com/VKdYqyZFWm— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 17, 2017
“Much better” was good enough for a 5-spot jump. PFF now considers the Titans’ secondary to be the 20th best in the NFL heading into 2017.
20. Tennessee Titans
The Titans’ base defense should look very different on the back end this season, as CB Logan Ryan (10 total passes defended and no touchdowns against in his final 10 games with New England in 2016), S Johnathan Cyprien(88.9 overall grade with Jacksonville last season) and first-round pick Adoree’ Jackson are all expected to start. Look for second-year S Kevin Byard to continue his strong play on the back end, as his 52.0 completion percentage on throws into his coverage last season ranked ninth among all safeties.
I think this is a fairly respectable ranking for a unit that was among the worst in the NFL in 2016. Without putting much thought into how I would rank them myself, I am inclined to mostly agree with these rankings.
It’s hard to know how the new players will come together, and there is little in the way of depth if one of the starters goes down. The inexperience at cornerback is a top-5 area of concern for the Titans in 2017, writes our own Terry Lambert.
Click here to see PFF’s full rankings.