Minnesota Vikings Draft Board: The Pros and Cons of Desmond Trufant's Game

Giancarlo Ferrari-KingFeatured ColumnistApril 17, 2013

Minnesota Vikings Draft Board: The Pros and Cons of Desmond Trufant's Game

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    Former Washington Huskies cornerback Desmond Trufant is a name a lot of Minnesota Vikings fans would love to hear called on draft day.

    Trufant, standing at 5'11" has shot up draft boards thanks to his stellar on-field play and a fantastic pro day to back it up.

    With former Vikings corner Antoine Winfield heading to the Seattle Seahawks, it's clear that the team is in desperate need of adding a quality corner into their defensive rotation.

    With two first round picks at their disposal, the question now becomes, is Desmond Trufant the type of player the Vikings need?

    Let's check out some of the most underrated pros and cons of Trufant's game.

Pro: Great Balance

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    Most of the great playmakers in the NFL have notoriously good balance.

    It's a trait that is sometimes overlooked during the scouting process, but its importance is significant.

    When you watch Desmond Trufant on tape, you're left impressed with how the kid manages to maintain his balance at any point during coverage. The ability to have control over your body is huge when you need to break up a pass, make a tackle or jump a route.

    Being sensationally quick on his feet, and blending it with a heavy dose of ultra-smooth balance, gives Desmond Trufant a one-up on a lot of cornerbacks in this draft.

Con: Questionable Technique

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    While Desmond Trufant is considered to be a quality defensive back, especially in zone coverage, it's his technique that sometimes gets him into trouble.

    One of the most important factors to becoming an elite cornerback at the pro level is making sure your technique remains consistent on every down.

    Whether that is keeping your eyes on the ball when it's snapped, or making sure your footwork is always on point, Trufant needs to improve the consistency part of his game.

    On tape, although he looks the part, sometimes Trufant gives in and leans heavily on his athletic ability, letting his technique fly out the window in the process. That may work at the collegiate level, but come Sunday, nothing is more important than mastering the fundamentals.

Pro: Scheme Versatile

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    Unlike other cornerbacks in this draft, Desmond Trufant could be a great fit for the Vikings because he's very scheme versatile.

    An experienced corner who excels in zone coverage, Trufant also can play a significant amount of man coverage when he's asked to.

    When you're looking for a standout prospect in the draft process, having a kid who's experienced, balanced and can make big plays in various types of coverage is a real treat.

    The Vikings have to love the versatility they've seen in Trufant's game on tape and in-person.

Con: A Below Average Finisher

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    When the Vikings lost Antoine Winfield to Seattle, they lost arguably the best tackling and run-stopping cornerback in all of football.

    Tackling, a technique that gets lost when grading the elite corners in this league, is extremely important— especially in Minnesota.

    There's no question that Winfield's ability to tackle and dramatically improve the team's run defense will be sorely missed next season. So for all of the fantastic athletic attributes that Desmond Trufant possesses, the fact is that this kid is not a great finisher.

    A coverage corner by trade, Trufant was always considered to be a below average tackler over the course of his career at Washington and a kid who attacks defenders way too high up.

    With a poor tackling technique and run-of-the-mill strength, it's not far-fetched to picture Trufant giving up a lot of extra yards to receivers he lines up against next season.

Pro: Experience

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    Being an experienced NFL prospect is another trait a lot of scouts and fans overlook.

    A four-year starter, Trufant jumped onto the field as a true freshman in 2009, playing all the way through his senior season.

    The knowledge, improvement and football smarts he experienced during his time at Washington are traits that may prove to be invaluable come draft day.

    There's an old train of thought that says nothing teaches better than experience. And no matter what field you apply that logic to, it holds up. Plus, having two brothers who played in the NFL (Marcus and Isaiah Trufant), isn't the worst thing to have when it comes to gaining experience.

    For all of the pro days, film sessions and scouting trips, Desmond Trufant is coming out school as a very seasoned and polished NFL prospect.