Scout Rating: **
Scout Rank: No. 86 cornerback
Size: 5-10, 170 pounds
Hometown: Pahokee, FL
High School: Pahokee High School
Stats: 60 tackles, four interceptions, three sacks
Accolades: Rated the No. 87 cornerback in the nation by ESPN...chosen as a four-star prospect and the No. 31 cornerback in the nation by Rivals.com...selected to the Outback all-star game held in Florida...named all-county by the Sun-Sentinel...named all-region...named 2A all-state...his cousin, Alphonso Smith, played for Wake Forest...recruited by NC State defensive coordinator Mike Archer
Commit Date: 11/17/2008
Recruiting Scene: NC State was the first BCS school to offer Byrd but they definitely wouldn't be the last. Smaller schools like Arkansas State, Ball State and Florida Atlantic would also offer along with pledges from Iowa State, Southern Miss and Wake Forest.
Why NCSU? "I was watching them play Wake Forest and I talked with my family that day and we decided I should go ahead and commit," said Byrd. "I wanted to go ahead and get it out of the way so I could focus on the rest of my season.
"I came to school on Monday and told my coach that I was ready to commit to the Wolfpack and we called coach Archer."
ESPN Evaluation: Byrd is a smooth corner back prospect with good speed and quickness. He lacks great size but masks it well with great competitiveness and athleticism on the football field. Pedal is a bit high but fluid, and he transitions quickly in and out. Loses little opening, turning and running with faster receivers. Good recovery speed and rarely lets receivers slip behind. Sticks to the hip tightly on go routes and plays the ball not man. Has good ball skills and does a good job adjusting his body to the throw. Flashes good initial burst and acceleration breaking on underneath throws and perimeter runs.
Overall range on run and pass support is good. Gets off blocks quickly defending the run and is a solid open field tackler. However, he tends to lunge and struggles at times breaking down and running through ball carriers. Does not consistently fill hard on perimeter run support and could struggle getting off the stalk-block at the next level.
Weaker upper-body is exploited in man-to-man coverage as well; yet to see him press strongly off the line and reroute receivers from their inside move. Good speed not great; appears quicker than fast and does not possesses great lock-down, cover corner skills when projecting for the next level. Hips are a bit stiff. Weaker matchup on the jump ball.
With that said, Byrd is a well-rounded corner who excels versus great high school competition and has been coached well. Shows good versatility playing as a Nickel back in certain schemes which could be his role at the major college level.