It’s Training Camp Week!!! With camp officially starting this Saturday, July 29th, let’s take a look at how things are shaping up with the cornerbacks.
Returning: Brice McCain, LeShaun Sims, D’Joun Smith, Kalan Reed
Departures: Jason McCourty (signed with Browns), Perrish Cox (currently unsigned), Valentino Blake (signed with Giants)
Additions: Logan Ryan (FA), Adoree Jackson (Draft), Demontre Hurst (FA), Tye Smith (FA), Jeremy Boykins (UDFA), Manny Abad (UDFA)
This is obviously the position that killed the Titans the most in 2016 and it should come as no surprise that they only retained 37.7% of the snaps from last year’s group, giving it the highest turnover rate of any position on the roster.
Logan Ryan was the Titans biggest prize from free agency and I still love the fit. I’ve written entirely too many words about him this offseason so check out my thoughts on him here if you haven’t already. He figures to be the leader of this group and his great study habits and work ethic will hopefully rub off on some of the young guys in this room.
After Ryan comes the competition to watch. Adoree Jackson, LeShaun Sims, and Brice McCain will be battling to establish a pecking order over the next few weeks and it should be fascinating to watch. Sims and Jackson figure to compete for the other starting outside corner spot across from Ryan which may be the only starting spot on the defense that is truly up for grabs in camp. McCain fits best as a slot corner and was actually pretty decent for the most part last year even though he kind of receives some blame by association from Titans fans for the poor coverage of this unit.
The next tier in my opinion features Kalan Reed and D’Joun Smith. These are talented guys who have yet to make their mark on the NFL level, but I expect them to be the front runners for the last couple roster spots at corner and wouldn’t be totally shocked if one of them found their way in to the Sims-Jackson-McCain conversation with a great camp.
Demontre Hurst is probably right behind those two. He is more of a slot corner, but has some real NFL experience and could push for a roster spot.
Tye Smith, Jeremy Boykins, and Manny Abad will all face an uphill battle to make the roster.
Overall this group appears to be much improved through the additions of Ryan and Jackson along with the expected progression of guys like Sims and Reed, but we really won’t know how much better until we actually see them in action. At the very least we can be excited to not watch Perrish Cox out there this year.