Desmond Trufant Scouting Report
Desmond Trufant, 5-11/190
By Charlie Campbell
Ability to run with receivers in their routes
Rarely allows separation
Good cover skills
Change of direction skills
Comfortable with ball in the air
Great hip flexibility to turn and run
Plays well in zone
Gritty; physical with receivers
Confident; has the man-corner mentality
Used to playing on an island
Excelled well against good competition
Doesn't intercept a lot of passes
Average ball skills
Trufant was a key cog in the Washington defense the past few seasons. The team's scheme left Trufant on an island without safety help over the top in many games. Trufant improved each season in college to the point that he displayed the ability to be a shutdown cover corner.
Trufant saw his first extended action as a sophomore and put together a quality season with 48 tackles, one interception and four passes broken up. He played very well for the Huskies in 2011, too. Trufant had two interceptions, 14 passes broken up, two forced fumbles, and 64 tackles. He was one of the few Washington defenders to hold his own against Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin, wide receiver Kendall Wright and Terrance Williams in the Alamo Bowl.
Trufant totaled 36 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, one interception, five passes broken up and a sack this year. Early in the season, LSU left him alone and attacked the Huskies' other cornerbacks. Trufant later had a clutch game to help his team pull off an upset over Stanford. He was on an island in man coverage all night and had lock-down coverage. Trufant also made a leaping interception against 6-foot-8 tight end Levine Toilolo during the fourth quarter that helped clinch the game for Washington.
Trufant didn't have a lot of passes thrown at him the past season and that is why his interception and passes broken up total is smaller than many cornerbacks.
Trufant's stock is on the rise after a fantastic week at the Senior Bowl. He showed serious man-coverage ability to win one-on-ones with wide receivers. Trufant has size, length, speed and can recover. He also was very gritty and physical with wide outs. It was clear that Trufant is very confident with a tenacious attitude and the mentality of a man cover corner.
Trufant could play in any scheme in the NFL. He has good feet and flexibility to blanket receivers. Trufant turns quickly to run with receivers but also has the speed to recover. His length makes it very hard to get passes by him. Especially since he has the ability to match up against big receivers or speed threats. Trufant typically gets overly physical with receivers and will need to cut down on that to avoid penalties at the next level.
Trufant would be a good fit in scheme that puts him on an island in man coverage. That type of player is hard to find, and as a result, he looks like a future first-round pick. If Trufant had more ball skills and a larger interception total, he would definitely go in the early half of the top 32. There is a real need for corners, so it isn't out of the question for him to rise into the top 16.
Player Comparison: Johnathan Joseph.
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.
Joseph was the 24th-overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, and Trufant could easily go around that area in the 2013 NFL Draft. Joseph has gone on to become a two-time Pro Bowler and was an All-Pro in 2011. If Trufant pans out, he could be a corner who is comparable to Joseph.
Tennessee, Tampa Bay, Denver, San Francisco
There are a number of spots that Trufant could go in the first round. If his stock continues to rise into the top half, Tennessee is the first team that could consider him. If DeMarcus Milliner is off the board, Trufant is a serious candidate to go to the Titans. General manager Ruston Webster knows the Washington program well from his time in the Pacific Northwest and leaned on that intimate knowledge in selecting Jake Locker in 2011.
The Bucs have a huge need at corner as they had one of the worst pass defenses in NFL history in 2012. Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano wants to play man coverage, so Trufant makes a lot of sense from a scheme perspective.
The Broncos need a young cornerback to eventually replace Champ Bailey. Trufant would offer the defense some nice continuity with a man corner to replace Bailey.
San Francisco could use a young corner to develop behind its veterans. Trufant would also fit the 49ers' defense well.
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