Brice McCain has upper hand for Titans' nickelback job

Titans cornerback Brice McCain played 85 percent of his snaps in the slot last season. Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- In newcomers Logan Ryan and Adoree' Jackson, the Tennessee Titans believe they have heir starting cornerbacks.

Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau will likely try to match up Ryan on bigger guys and Jackson on quicker ones.

The nickel spot is less settled.

Incumbent Brice McCain was up and down in his first season with the Titans in 2016. He played 675 snaps, 85 percent of his total, in the slot.

After they parted ways with Perrish Cox, the Titans called on LeShaun Sims in the latter part of his rookie season, and his play was encouraging. But he was an outside guy, playing just eight snaps at the nickel spot.

McCain and Sims could still wind up competing to be the team’s third cornerback.

But if Sims is to get ahead, he will need Jackson to be versatile from the start. Odds are when the Titans have Ryan, Jackson and Sims on the field, it’ll be Jackson who plays inside.

The Titans like Jackson’s versatility, and it was part of why they made him the 18th pick in the draft. They plan to start him off on the outside. If he’s a quick learner who they feel comfortable moving around, it could increase the chance of Sims getting the No. 3 spot.

Based on McCain’s experience, he’s certainly the favorite to start the season as the nickel.

The Titans have question marks beyond their top four at cornerback, where depth should be a concern.

That group includes Kalan Reed, Demontre Hurst, D'Joun Smith and Tye Smith.

The team will have a couple more in its class of undrafted free agents, and we’ll get that list by Friday when rookies take the field for their minicamp. Per the Houston Chronicle, John Green of UConn will be one of them.