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Second-year veteran Alphonso Smith is no lock to win the Broncos' nickel cornerback job, we hear. Smith, who is coming off a disappointing rookie season, faces a challenge from free-agent signee Nate Jones, and fifth-round pick Perrish Cox, while more of a long shot, can't be counted out for the role either. Cox fell in the draft because of character concerns and was considered a second-round talent. Smith and Jones, a seventh-year veteran who started four games for the Dolphins last season, have both taken snaps as the first-team nickel corner at offseason practices. The Broncos, however, would like to see Smith step up and claim the job. Denver traded a 2010 first-round pick to move into the second round in '09 to draft Smith, but he could not keep the nickel back job. The Broncos eventually pulled Ty Law, who had been out of the league, off the scrap heap to play the position.
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