The Falcons scouting reports series is back this year. And to kick it off, we'll start with Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant. The Falcons have a ton of needs this offseason, but most of them are future and depth needs.
At cornerback, the Falcons actually need a long-term starter that can come in Week 1. Desmond Trufant can be that guy. The Falcons love to bring in prospects they are interested in, and he has visited the Falcons, according to Tony Pauline of Draft Insider:
Desmond Trufant/CB/Washington visited the Atlanta Falcons yesterday....could be the pick if he's available at pick # 30...— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) March 29, 2013
So let's jump into the report:
University of Washington
Height: 5'11-5/8" Weight: 190 pounds
Arm Length: 31-1/4" Hand Measurement: 8-5/8"
40-yard dash: 4.38 sec. 10-yard split: 1.50 sec.
20-yard shuttle: 3.85 sec. 3-cone Drill: 6.67 sec. Bench Reps: 16 reps
Vertical Jump: 37.5" Broad Jump: 10'5"
2012: 12 Games Played, 36 Tackles, 4.5 Tackles for Loss, 1.0 Sacks, 1 Interception, 1 Fumble Forced, 8 Pass Deflections, 1 Blocked Kick
2011: 13 Games Played, 64 Tackles, 0.5 Tackles for Loss, 0.5 Sacks, 2 Interceptions, 2 Fumbles Forced, 14 Pass Deflections
2010: 13 Games Played, 48 Tackles, 1.5 Tackles for Loss, 0.5 Sacks, 1 Interception, 4 Pass Deflections
2009: 12 Games Played, 47 Tackles, 2.0 Tackles for Loss, 1 QB Hurry, 2 Interceptions, 1 Fumble Recovered, 6 Pass Deflections, 1 Defensive Touchdown
Trufant is one of the best man-to-man cornerbacks in the draft. He's able to cover anyone one-on-one in either a press or an off-man alignment. He can make plays on the ball, but he's not a 10 interception guy. He's one of those that can do everything well but has a niche as a lockdown guy on the outside.
He's also really good in run support. He's not a super strong hitter like Dunta Robinson was, but he's a solid tackler with good form and size. Athletically, he's one of the best players in the draft. His combine times are one of the few that accurately reflect just how fast he is on the field.
He doesn't have great hands, but honestly, he doesn't look to intercept the ball much either. He has trouble getting off of blocks in the running game, but that's more of a technique and strength issue than a willingness thing. He sometimes misjudges the ball mid-air but, overall, has few weaknesses to his game.
He has very few weaknesses in his game, and all of them are easily correctable. But his strengths make him one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL draft this year. The Falcons would have to take him with their first-round pick in order to secure his services. But it would be more than worth the selection.
How does he fit the Comrade Filter?
He's someone who has never been arrested or suspended for off-field issues. He was a team captain for the Huskies his senior year at Washington. He's also got the same kind of leadership shown by Sean Weatherspoon and Asante Samuel.
Ideally, the Falcons would take him to pair with some of the more swagger-filled members of the defense. He is a tremendously hard worker, but even Atlanta's head coach Mike Smith has told him to not overwork his body in the months leading up to the season (h/t NFLPlayers.com).
How he would fit into the Falcons' plans
If Trufant wound up in the red and black, he would easily be the starting cornerback. He's a top notch corner and would eventually be looked upon to be a leader within the defense. His long-term fit is at No. 1 cornerback in all formations.
All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus's Premium Stats, ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All contract information is courtesy Spotrac and Rotoworld. All recruiting rankings come from 247Sports.com.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL draft. He also runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and hosts Kvetching Draftniks Radio.