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.

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