By Tim Graham
Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd is the AFC East's best all-around safety. He made his initial mark as a ball hawk but has evolved into a fine tackler and run defender, too.
As a rookie in 2009 -- even though he didn't start right away, played hurt and missed the final two games because he opted to have groin surgery -- Byrd made the Pro Bowl and tied for the NFL lead with nine interceptions.
Byrd has had only four interceptions since, but his overall play has blossomed. ProFootballFocus.com rated Byrd the NFL's third-best safety, whether free or strong, behind Tory Polamalu and Adrian Wilson. PFF's data showed quarterbacks had a 54.9 passer rating when throwing into Byrd's coverage last season and that he allowed only 41 yards after catches.
Byrd ranked third on the Bills with a career-high 98 tackles, according to the coaching staff's game-film review. He recorded a sack, five tackles for losses, three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), eight passes defensed, a team-high three forced fumbles and one recovery.
Byrd was the only Bill to notch at least one sack, interception, forced fumble and fumble recovery last year.
Selected in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2009 draft.
Hint about No. 14
He's the player on this list you probably know the least about.
Picks to date
15. Jairus Byrd, Bills safety
16. Brandon Lloyd, Patriots receiver
17. Stevie Johnson, Bills receiver
18. Reggie Bush, Dolphins running back
19. Jerod Mayo, Patriots inside linebacker
20. Randy Starks, Dolphins defensive lineman
21. Sebastian Vollmer, Patriots right tackle
22. Aaron Hernandez, Patriots tight end
23. Marcell Dareus, Bills defensive tackle
24. Antonio Cromartie, Jets cornerback
25. Eric Wood, Bills center