Desmond Trufant: The NFL’s Next Great Shutdown Corner?


Desmond Trufant came to the Atlanta Falcons in the mid-first round of the 2013 NFL Draft to become the franchise’s shutdown cornerback. In Year Three with the Falcons, has Trufant gotten to that level?

Desmond Trufant comes from a great football family. Both of his older brothers, Marcus and Isaiah, played in the Pac-12 at Washington State and went on the play professionally in the National Football League. The Tacoma, Washington native opted to sign with the rival Washington Huskies to play college ball. After four great years in the Pac-12, Trufant was the 2013 1st Round pick of the Atlanta Falcons, going to Atlanta 22nd overall.

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In only two years in the league, many scouts have projected that Desmond Trufant will get to elite shutdown corner status in the NFL very soon. They’ve argued that it wouldn’t take long for Trufant’s name to enter the same conversation with Seattle’s Richard Sherman, New York’s Darrelle Revis, Cleveland’s Joe Haden, or Arizona’s Patrick Peterson. I projected he would make his first career Pro Bowl as a 25-year-old.

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After missing almost the entire preseason with the Falcons due to a shoulder injury, Desmond Trufant was back to starring in the Atlanta Falcons secondary the last two weeks. While I was watching the Falcons-Giants game yesterday afternoon, I was asking myself why we weren’t seeing all that much out of Tru on Sunday. I found out through D Orlando Ledbetter’s Tweet that CB Desmond Trufant was not thrown to the entire game on Sunday afternoon. He shutdown the entire side of the field in the New York Giants’ passing game.

I knew that Atlanta Falcons HC Dan Quinn would attempt to use Desmond Trufant in a similar manner he used CB Richard Sherman while in Seattle: use one cornerback to prevent passes to an entire side of the field. It came as a shock to me that the New York Giants OC Ben McAdoo didn’t even want QB Eli Manning to target anybody on that side of the field. New York ran over 70 plays on offense!

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  • Instead McAdoo chose to lineup WR Odell Beckham, Jr. on CB Robert Alford‘s side to create a mismatch. It worked well for most of the ball game and perhaps opposing QBs will continue to throw in Alford’s direction this season. However, I do expect Robert Alford to improve on the outside or move inside to nickelback, when rookie CB Jalen Collins is ready of course.

    Getting Desmond Trufant to a shutdown corner level was imperative for the Atlanta Falcons to develop the Dirty South Version of the Legion of Boom. I had a feeling it was coming this fall, but I did not expect it to happen in Week 2. Atlanta won’t face a wideout of Odell Beckham, Jr.’s caliber for a while now, as Dallas’ Dez Bryant will likely miss most of the season with a broken leg.

    Whether or not the opposition chooses to throw in Desmond Trufant’s general direction, I believe that yesterday’s performance solidified Tru’s place as the next great shutdown corner in the National Football League. The jigsaw is starting to fall into place in the Atlanta Falcons’ secondary. When that happens like the pass rush/front seven have, the Dirty Birds could have a Championship caliber defense before too long. Rise Up!

    Next: Atlanta Falcons: 5 Things Learned From Week 2

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