Five New Orleans Saints to ‘bet on’ in 2015

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Jairus Byrd

Sep 7, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) fumbles the ball after a hit by New Orleans Saints free safety Jairus Byrd (31) in the first half of their game at the Georgia Dome. The Saints recovered the ball in the end zone. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Jairus Byrd, the prized treasure of NFL’s 2014 free agency frenzy, found himself meeting a lot of critcism in his first season with the black and gold. Byrd impressed from the very start, but fell off during the next several games leading up to his season ending injury.

Byrd appeared in all but two snaps for the Saints defense in the first four games, and it was his run defense in which he received the largest negative marks (-3.7). Byrd was credited with three missed tackles in each game against the Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys.

If there’s anyone that could benefit from better defensive line and linebacker play, it’s Byrd. He has a real opportunity to show us why the Saints shelled out $54 million for him. If you think about his years with the Buffalo Bills, remember someone like Kyle Williams (and others) were there anchoring the line. Byrd needs a stable front seven in order to shine, and with the additions of attractive players through the draft and free agency at those respective positions, it feels like Byrd should have a major rebound year.

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