When you hear the name Desmond Trufant, you kind of figure the guy must be a Defensive Back. His brothers, Marcus and Isaiah, both play in the NFL and you know how common nepotism is in the NFL.
Desmond is the next Trufant Cornerback to enter the Pros. A 5-11, 190 lb. kid out of Washington, is a 1st round prospect in this April’s Draft. He is ranked 15th overall and #2 out of 249 Cornerbacks and had a pre-Combine 40 Time of 4.49 seconds. Trufant drew interviews from the Buccaneers, Eagles, Rams and Vikings at the Senior Bowl.
Trufant wore #6 for the Huskies and lettered 3 times during his college career. He finished
2012 being named first-team All-Pac-12 and second-team All-America. Desmond served as a captain as a senior. Trufant had a streak of 45 straight starts broken when he sat out the Colorado game due to injury. After sitting out that game, he returned to start at Washington State, where he had four tackles, forced a fumble and broke up three passes.
Des started all 26 games at cornerback spot in 2010-11, serving as a game captain for the Hawai'i game. As a freshman in 2009, Trufant came on early in the season to earn a starting spot at one cornerback position and started the final nine games of the season ... played in all 12 games. Trufant played 50 games at Washington, amassing 195 Tackles, 8.5 Tackkles For Loss, 2 Sacks, 38 Pass Breakups, 6 Interceptions, 3 Forced Fumbles and a Fumble Recovery for as Touchdown.
GRADE - 79.1
Desmond is looking to become the third Trufant brother to play professional football. Marcus has been a regular starter for the Seattle Seahawks since they picked him in the first round out of Washington State in 2003. Isaiah starred at Eastern Washington before playing in the Arena Football League and becoming the UFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2010 before finally getting his shot to play with the Jets the past two seasons.
Trufant seems to be on the right path to join his brothers in the NFL. He’s played in every contest the past three years, earning nine starts as a true freshman and holding onto that spot ever since. Trufant was named honorable mention All-Pac 12 by league coaches in 2009, intercepting two passes (one that sealed the team’s win against Arizona) and breaking up six others. His numbers dropped in 2010 (one interception, four PBU) before picking up again in another honorable mention all-conference season as a junior (two interceptions, 14 PBU). His pick in the end zone in the season opener against Isaiah’s FCS alma mater prevented a disastrous home loss for the Huskies.
STRENGTHS Legacy pick with NFL size and athleticism. Very good short-area foot quickness, mirrors receivers on the outside on double moves up the sideline or quick out routes. Capable of playing either outside or in the slot. Has speed to run with better receivers and to recover when giving up inside position on crosses. Plays a lot of press-bail bu flashes the length and tenacity to get his hands on receivers and stick to them. Regularly rips off and out-quicks receiver blocks to get into position to make plays. Competes for the ball in the air and won’t back down from physical challenges from receivers.
WEAKNESSES Only adequate in his overall strength and physicality, often whiffs at tackle attempts, jumping at feet or throwing a weak shoulder. Has mental lapses in coverage that lead to big plays. Poor technique in press makes him susceptible to giving up plays. Gives up the sideline in the run game when failing to get outside leverage against receiver blocks.
NFL COMPARISON Kelly Jennings
BOTTOM LINE The brother of NFL cornerbacks Marcus and Isaiah flashes playmaking ability (16 passes defended in 2011) and very good foot quickness, but must play stronger and more disciplined in coverage to be considered a sure-fire NFL starter. Scouts aren’t sold on Desmond as the next first-round pick named Trufant, but improving his physicality and consistency would help him reach the top 100.
The younger brother of Marcus Trufant (now a member of the Seattle Seahawks) and Isaiah Trufant (New York Jets), the NFL has been forecasted for Desmond Trufant since signing with the Huskies. As fate would have it, he's proven up to the challenge of his last name, emerging as one of the better coverage corners in the Pac-12 over his career.
Instantly establishing himself as one of the better defenders on the team, Trufant played in all 12 games as a true freshman, starting the final nine games of the season and actually earning honorable mention all-conference honors with 47 tackles, six passes broken up and two interceptions.
He posted similar numbers in his second season as a starter (48 tackles, four passes broken up, one interception) and enjoyed his best year to date as a junior with 64 stops, 14 passes broken up and another two pass thefts.
Athletic and instinctive, Trufant has demonstrated legitimate NFL coverage ability and helped his cause by showing improved overall physicality in 2011. Though he's seen considerable time in both man and zone concepts, at this point Trufant's game translates better to an off-man scheme.
He has the fluidity and straight-line speed to handle coverage duties and has proven ball skills (five career interceptions). To improve his standing with scouts, Trufant will need to show continued improvement as an open field tackler.
While flashing physicality, Trufant too often he takes on ball-carries high and attempts to wrestle them to the ground or, worse, ducks and swipes at their legs, rather than bringing his hips wrapping his arms around for the secure take-down. With the Huskies' pass rush expected to improve this season, Trufant could be poised for the most impressive statistical season of his career.--Rob Rang
Charlie Campbell of Walter Football writes
Trufant has been a good defender for the Huskies over the past couple of seasons. He has been reliable in his coverage and is one of the better cornerbacks in the Pac-12. Trufant broke into the starting lineup as a sophomore and recorded 48 tackles, one interception and four passes broken up.
Trufant played well last year and, generally, teams stayed away from him. The junior had two interceptions, 14 passes broken up, two forced fumbles, and 64 tackles. Trufant was an All-Pac-12 honorable mention.
Washington was torched by California receiver Keenan Allen, but USC's Robert Woods was held to just 32 yards on three receptions. In the Alamo Bowl against Baylor, Trufant was one of the few defensive players who played well. Bears signal-caller Robert Griffin III stayed away from Trufant and had a lot of success targeting the other Huskies defensive backs.
Skill-Set Summary: Trufant has a skill set for the NFL. Assuming his listed measurements are accurate, he has good height and length to be a starting cornerback in the NFL. Trufant has nice quickness and agility to be a man cover corner. He is very solid in run defense, too; having nice technique and no hesitation to get in on tackles.
He has good bloodlines with his older brother Marcus Trufant enjoying a quality NFL career. At worst, Desmond Trufant has the ability to be a backup and special teams contributor at the next level.
Desmond Trufant vs. Boise State (2012)
Desmond Trufant vs. USC / Oregon State (2010)
NFL scouts are reportedly universally branding Washington CB Desmond Trufant a "lock first-round pick." A 47-game starter at Washington, Trufant recorded just six career interceptions but was an impact cover corner on a bad Huskies defense. He appears to be competing with Mississippi State's Johnthan Banks to be the No. 2 cornerback drafted behind Dee Milliner in April.
Personally, I think Johnthan Banks will end up ahead of Desmond Trufant, who is a more polished product. A first round pick must be an impact player and I don’t believe Trufant fits this mold yet.
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