In the grand scheme of things stats don’t matter, wins do. We would all be lying if we said we didn’t care about stats however. In this series we will be looking at the statistical leaders of each division in the NFL. For this article we’ll take a look at interception leaders for each division. Interception leaders in the NFL are usually cornerbacks and free safeties who have a knack for tracking the football in the air and making the play. Without further a do, let’s get into it.
AFC North: FS Minkah Fitzpatrick- Pittsburgh Steelers
Arguably the best free safety in the NFL, this list wouldn’t be complete without Minkah Fitzpatrick. Minkah is a long and lanky deep man who is an elite safety in coverage. The Steelers defense revolves around their pass rush and the beneficiary is Minkah. Few people have the disposition for making turnovers that Fitzpatrick has.
Minkah Fitzpatrick Interception Projection: 4 Interceptions
AFC South: FS Kevin Byard- Tennessee Titans
Before last season people would have argued that Kevin Byard is the best ball hawk in the NFL. During the 2020 season Byard only had one interception which was very unlike him considering he has had at least 4 interceptions since 2017. I expect a big bounce back year now that the Titans have infused some talent into their pass rush.
Kevin Byard Interception Projection: 4 Interceptions
AFC East: CB Xavien Howard- Miami Dolphins
Last years interception leader has restructured his contract so that he could stay in Miami. Howard is the definition of a playmaker at the cornerback position and he will look to continue his reign of turnover dominance in 2021. I expect a huge season from Howard as the Dolphins hunt for a playoff spot.
Xavien Howard Interception Projection: 6 Interceptions
AFC West: FS Justin Simmons- Denver Broncos
Justin Simmons is a rangy free safety who is best when he is in a single high look and gets to patrol the deep half of the field. Simmons is always around the ball which results in tons of plays on the ball. If the Broncos pass rush can get going and stay healthy, then Simmons is going to have plenty of opportunities for turnovers.
Justin Simmons Interception Projection: 5 Interceptions
NFC North: FS Darnell Savage- Green Bay Packers
One of my favorite young defenders in the league today is Darnell Savage. He is a speedy deep safety who always seems to be where the ball is. Savage is an ultra versatile defensive back who wears many hats but one consistency to his game is his turnover prowess. Darnell is a true ball hawk who I expect to beat out storied vets like Eddie Jackson and Harrison Smith for the interception crown of the North.
Darnell Savage Interception Projection: 4 Interceptions
NFC South: FS Marcus Williams- New Orleans Saints
This was a tough choice between Williams, his teammate Marshon Lattimore, and Bucs CB Carlton Davis but I’m going to give the nod to the for Utah Ute here. Marcus Williams is improving every year and is a true sideline to sideline deep safety. He’s got some of the best range in the National Football League and will look to break his personal interception career high as he plays on the Saints’ franchise tag in a big contract year.
Marcus Williams Interception Projection: 5 Interceptions
NFC East: CB James Bradberry- New York Giants
The NFC East is weak when it comes to ballhawking safeties and cornerbacks but I think Giants CB1 James Bradberry is capable of putting up numbers with the best in the league. James is a true press man corner who excels at making plays on the ball but he hasn’t always showcased the ability to come down with the ball even though he can usually get his hands on it. In a year where the Giants defense is expected to come up big for them, I think James Bradberry is going to have his best year yet.
James Bradberry Interception Projection: 4 Interceptions
NFC West: FS Quandre Diggs- Seattle Seahawks
Seattle’s cornerback room is looking a little thin in the talent department so they will rely on their elite safety tandem of Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs for big plays and turnovers. With Jamal Adams playing down low and in the box, this allows the former Texas Longhorn Quandre Diggs to do what he does best and patrol the deep middle of the field. Diggs deserves the new contract that he is asking the Seahawks for and whether he gets it or not before the start of the season, I think he will prove me right in 2021.
Quandre Diggs Interception Projection: 4 Interceptions