The IDP Guys take a peek into the Tennessee Titans scooping up veteran free agent Kenny Vaccaro to fill the void left by injury to starter Johnathan Cyprien. Make his day and give Christian Gardner a follow on Twitter.
Vaccaro, 27, enters his sixth season on a one-year deal with the Titans after spending his entire career with the New Orleans Saints. The Saints selected Vaccaro 15th overall in the 2013 draft, and the safety registered his best season in 2015 after logging 71 tackles and three sacks in 16 games started.
Vaccaro, who will play strong safety with the Titans, can safely be selected as a DB3 with upside and will approach DB2 if he plays in the box and stays healthy with Tennessee.
In 2017 Vaccaro recorded 48 tackles, one forced fumble, three picks and 1.5 sacks. The Saints got 50 tackles, two forced fumbles, two picks and one sack from Vaccaro in 2016. And the stats in those two seasons offer a glimpse into the big plays Vaccaro sprinkles in to boost weekly stats. Overall the safety carries a safe cumulative tackle-floor.
But one important note is the games Vaccaro missed. He started 11 games in 2016 and 12 games in 2017 after battling injuries the past two seasons. The handful of games missed obviously affected his overall production, because full regular seasons could have reflected greater tackle production and results similar to 2015.
‘A surprise on the IDP scene last season with many believing his team mate and fellow safety Jonathan Cyprien would be the main producer in the Titans secondary. How wrong we all were. Byard last year, in his first full season as a starter, ended up with 87 combined tackles, 16 pass defenses and 8 interceptions.’
‘For a second year guy these numbers are terrific and will surely improve as he learns more defensively. I see his snap count remaining about the same and with the departure of Avery Williamson one less talented defender to poach tackles. Byard should be outstanding this season.’
IDP-ers expected more from Cyprien, as Somerset notes, in 2017. And low expectations for Cyprien translates favorably as Vaccaro slides into the Titans’ starting strong safety position.