Desmond Trufant to Falcons: How Does CB Fit with Atlanta?
Desmont Trufant was the first pick for the Falcons in the 2013 NFL draft. He's a brilliant pick and will fit in great for the defense run by coordinator Mike Nolan.
Atlanta was just 10 yards away from going to the Super Bowl. But the biggest issue was that Dunta Robinson couldn't cover a wide receiver and no one could cover a tight end. So they allowed way too many second-half points by playing uninspired defense.
Trufant will have to come in and win the job for the starting cornerback role. Trufant fits in well with the Falcons' scheme and should end up as the right cornerback in his first season at least. After that, it all depends on how Asante Samuel is doing. If Samuel can still go, expect Trufant to stay on the right side one more year. Then, he would move to the left after Samuel would retire.
On the Field
The Falcons let one ball hawk go in Brent Grimes because of a bad Achilles injury, and the cornerbacks thinned out this offseason with Grimes, Dunta Robinson and Chris Owens all moved on to Miami, Kansas City and Cleveland, respectively. Trufant is a great coverage corner, but he may not be an instant ball hawk.
He does knock away a ton of passes, but his hands are suspect. He can man up almost any receiver he goes against. Trufant brings a ton of speed and agility to the Falcons at corner that they were missing with Robinson there. Robinson would get beat by some of the faster receivers and allow big gains on slants.
That same thing won't happen as often with the highly intelligent Trufant. He's played in a multitude of coverages from press-man to off-man to matchup zones as part of the Huskies defense. He's going to fit in just fine with Mike Nolan's crew in the backfield and could possibly even help the pass defense improve on its NFL-best 14 touchdowns allowed last season.
Off the Field
When it comes to guys who fit in the Comrade Filter, Desmond Trufant is the ideal player. Not only is he squeaky clean off the field, but he's also a leader and a hard worker off of it. Trufant was good enough to get invited to New York, but instead he decided to stay home because he wanted to spend the day with his sick grandparent (h/t Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio).
He's one heck of a leader and was the team captain for the Huskies in his senior year at Washington. Atlanta showed interest in him from the get-go because of the kind of personality he shows on and off the field. He's very similar to Sean Weatherspoon and Asante Samuel in that he has a confidence that just can't be taught by anyone.
He's going to bleed that confidence into the secondary, and the combination of Trufant, Samuel, Robert McClain, Thomas DeCoud and William Moore will be one of the best nickel secondaries in the NFL this season. The Falcons were smart to bring his presence into the locker room, and if they ever cancel D-Block, they could also just open up the no-fly zone based around the Falcons secondary.
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 DraftFalcons.com.
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