If you're looking for a prototypical cornerback, look no further than Desmond Trufant. With the ideal combination of speed, size and overall athleticism, Trufant definitely looks the part.
NFL scouts are quickly coming to the realization that Trufant is the sum of his parts, as his stock is rapidly rising. Now a likely first-round pick, Trufant has ridden excellent play and an excellent draft process to be among the top cornerbacks in the draft.
Let's take a closer look at Trufant and his path to the NFL.
Birthday: September 10, 1990
Hometown: Tacoma, Washington
High School: Woodrow Wilson
The Trufant name is well-known in Washington football circles, as brothers Marcus and Isaiah played football at Washington State and Eastern Washington, respectively. Both are now NFL players, as the senior Desmond will be shortly as well.
From the very beginning of his career, Trufant has been a difference-maker in the Huskies' secondary. His tackle numbers have gone down over the years, but that's indicative of his growing coverage skills that discouraged opponents from targeting him.
You will notice, though, that Trufant isn't a turnover machine. His ball skills are among his weaknesses as a prospect, but he still can make a big play from time to time.
All stats courtesy of Sports-Reference.com.
Weight: 190 pounds
Arm Length: 31.25"
Hand Size: 8.625"
40-yard dash: 4.38 seconds
Broad jump: 125"
Vertical jump: 37.5"
Bench Press: 16 reps
20-yard shuttle: 3.85 seconds
Like many top prospects, Desmond Trufant stood on his combine numbers at his pro day, and for good reason. He was one of the stars of the combine, blowing up the 40 while also excelling in the jumps and the 20-yard shuttle.
He showcased the excellent athleticism that has helped him become an elite cover corner, giving teams confidence that he can hang with any receiver's quickness or speed.
All numbers courtesy of NFL.com.
Trufant is not just a top-tier football player; he was also an elite track and field athlete as well. He won second place in the triple jump at the 4A state track meet in high school.
As good as he was on the track, though, Trufant wasn't considered a top-tier football recruit. He was just a 3-star prospect, according to Rivals.com.
His brothers Isaiah and Marcus both have NFL experience, with Isaiah playing on the New York Jets and Marcus being a free agent.
Opposing quarterbacks didn't test Trufant as much in 2012 as in years past, for good reason. Trufant has the quickness to stay with any receiver and the aggressiveness to break up passes on a regular basis.
One of the most impressive attributes of Trufant is his ability to play clean, smart football. A lot of top-tier college cornerbacks excel because they get away with coverage that would be too physical in the NFL. I don't get that impression from Trufant, who would rather play slightly off, then use his burst to close in on the ball at exactly the right time.
Herm Edwards is impressed with those same attributes, writing on ESPN.com (subscription needed):
Trufant is good in short spaces and can close a receiver's cushion in a hurry when he gets his foot in the ground. Plus, he's a winning tackler up at the line of scrimmage and doesn't shy away from the run. He has a solid frame but could get stronger.
Meanwhile, Walter Cherepinsky of Walterfootball.com compares Trufant to Johnathan Joseph, writing:
There are a lot of similarities between Joseph and Trufant. Both are good man corners who have the speed to prevent separation and nice size to match up against bigger receivers.
That's a good comparison for Trufant, who may be the most polished cornerback in this draft in pure man-to-man coverage.