Titans’ Smith vies for spot as nickel back


Sixth-round draft pick Ryan Smith has an outside chance of making the team this season.
A cornerback in college (Utah and Florida), he’ll probably only see action in nickel and dime packages, in addition to being expected to contribute on special teams. The scouting report on him says he’s too small at 168 pounds to be on the field for possible running plays.
The competition at nickel is crowded, with Cortland Finnegan, Kelly Herndon, Andre Woolfolk and Michael Waddell all vying for a spot. Safety Vince Fuller may also be in the mix at nickel, which he’s played before.
However, the door may be open wide enough for Smith to get in. Woolfolk has been a disappointment while Waddell has been a non-factor and is coming off a knee injury. Both are in the final year of their contracts. One or both of them could be leaving a year earlier than planned.
If Smith hopes to make the team, he’ll definitely have to show he can contribute on special teams. With his 4.42 speed, he could get a shot as a gunner.
Smith led the Southeastern Conference with eight interceptions last year.
An intelligent player, he earned academic honors as a pre-Law student, something which Jeff Fisher ought to appreciate. As a Pac 10 All Academic student-athlete at USC, Fisher was planning on attending law school before being drafted by the Chicago Bears, which started his pro football career.


4 Responses to “Titans’ Smith vies for spot as nickel back”

  1. Garo Dykstra Says:

    Titans might as well cut ties with Woolfolk and free up the roster spot for Smith. Waddell appears to be a good special teamer when healthy, but nothing more. Why cut a rookie with potential just to keep one or two special teamers at best? The competition will be good, but I look for at least Woolfolk to be gone by end of training camp. Waddell may get a year to prove himself, but it wouldnt surprise or bother me to see him gone.

  2. brian Says:

    it wouldn’t shock me if one of the other vets gets released as well. i think the titans will be more likely to carry additional recievers/TE after all the injuries they’ve endured in the past.

  3. underdog Says:

    MADDEN CURSE, do not pass go do not collect 200 dollars.

  4. Bobert Says:

    Actually, Waddell is special as a gunner when healthy. I just worry that he won’t have his speed after the injury. As for Smith, I really like the value of this pick. I saw him as a high as 3rd round on some draft boards (not team draft boards…magazines). His size will be an issue, but he’s got great instincts.

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