I've gotten myself into some trouble hyping Robert McClain this off-season, suggesting he might start outside if Desmond Trufant finds the learning curve too steep. But that admittedly slim possibility aside, McClain is a fantastic option at nickelback. In fact, he was arguably the best nickelback in the NFL in 2012.
Robert McClain, by the way, looks to be the 2012 version of Brice McCain. McClain was a seventh-round pick who couldn't make it with Carolina or Jacksonville before Atlanta picked him up before last season. Given the small sample size, there's a reasonable possibility that McClain's 2012 season was fluky, and an even more likely possibility that his skills in the slot wouldn't necessarily translate in a starting role.
McClain had the lowest yards/pass average (4.6) in the league last year. He also had the third highest adjusted success rate in the league. While the league leaders in yards/pass average are usually nickelbacks, the man still deserves the credit I'm giving him.
2013 will ultimately tell McClain's story. Either he will regress markedly, or he won't. Your thoughts?