There is no question that the Titans are going to be deep at corner this season. The only question is how good will the top two guys be. Here is a look at each of the nine guys that are in camp:
Nick Harper- Harper is the only guy in the group who is pretty much guaranteed a starting spot. He spent the first six years of his career with the Colts. Harper comes with plenty of experience and a Super Bowl ring. The only question with Harper is whether or not he can adjust to the Titans style of defense after playing the cover 2 in Indy for all of those years. It might not be as tough an adjustment as many think though because it is likely the Titans will play more zone this year without a true shut down corner.
Kelly Herndon- Herndon was the other big offseason signing at corner. He has also been in the league six years with the Broncos and Seahawks. Herndon will be in competition for the nickel back position as well. He is coming off of a broken ankle that has slowed him some in the early going. GM Mike Reinfeldt knows Herndon well as they were both in Seattle last season.
Reynaldo Hill- Hill is the incumbent starter. Most Titans fans are down on Hill after a rough 2006 campaign. It was reported after the season that he played most of the year on a bad leg. Hill is a better corner than he showed in 2006 and should put up a fight for the starting position.
Michael Griffin- Griffin’s move to corner has been highly debated. The Titans’ first round pick played safety for his entire college career at the University of Texas. The Titans’ front office believes that he has the skills to play corner. He will have a lot to learn in the early going but should push for a starting spot as the season gets closer.
Cortland Finnegan- Finnegan stepped in as a rookie and played extremely well at the nickel back position. He also made one start at corner when Reynaldo Hill was out with an injury. Finnegan is so good at nickel that is hard to envision the Titans trying to move him outside.
Andre Woolfolk- I would say this season make or break season for Woolfolk but that would be a lie. It is all about camp for Andre. He is a former first round pick who has never lived up to his billing. He got one start last season for a suspended Pacman Jones and looked very bad. If he doesn’t do something to impress the coaches in camp it is very likely that he will be one of the guys that doesn’t make the opening day roster.
Michael Waddell- Waddell was drafted in 2004 primarily to be a punt and kick returner. He has never really panned out as either. After missing the entire 2006 season with an off the field knee injury, he has a long way to go to prove to the coaches that he can play in this league. He is one of the fastest guys on the team but hasn’t proved he can use that on the field.
Ryan Smith- Smith was a sixth round draft pick for the Titans in this year’s draft. Smith had eight interceptions for the Florida Gators last year in only six games. The kid is obviously a ball hawk. He does, however, lack the size to be an ideal outside corner. He will most likely be used in dime situations.
Eric King- King was added to the Titans roster right before the 2006 season started when he was cut by the Buffalo Bills. King did appear in 11 games last year for the Titans but was mostly used on special teams. He is the most likely candidate to be cut from the roster before the season begins.
It is easy to see that corner is probably the deepest position on the Titans’ roster. Now it just comes down to finding two guys that can step up and play every down. Right now Harper and Hill have been getting the majority of the reps with the first team in camp. I think you will see Griffin push Hill late in camp and ultimately win the starting spot. Finnegan will be pushed hard by Herndon for the nickel position and hang on to be the main guy there. The guys that will not be on the roster when the season starts are Waddell, Woolfolk, and King.