Anyone that has followed the Falcons the last six years knew that the Falcons were going to make a move in the draft.
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff has made at least one trade in the draft since 2008 and it was no different this year as the Falcons moved up to No. 22 from No. 30 in the first round of the draft to select cornerback Desmond Trufant from the University of Washington.
“I’m very excited about adding Desmond,” Falcons head coach Mike Smith said. “He is a guy that seems to find the football.”
To say drafting Trufant was a huge need for the Falcons would be an understatement. With the loss of Brent Grimes, Christopher Owens and Dunta Robinson, the Falcons were in need of a cornerback and Trufant fits all the Falcons were looking for.
“He’s a very athletic individual,” Dimitroff said. “He’s very fast. He’s a legitimate 4.4 guy.”
Trufant not only is athletic and very fast, he is also a leader which is another quality the Falcons look for when it comes to drafting players.
“He’s another team captain,” Dimitroff said. “We have been consistent with that over the years. That’s important for us.”
Trufant started 47 of 50 career games at Washington. He posted 195 career tackles and a school record 39 pass breakups.
“He’s a guy that seems to find the football,” Smith said. “He’s a very active guy.”
Trufant recorded nine pass breakups, one interception and 36 tackles last year which was good enough to earn him first-team All-Pac 12 honors as well as second-team All-America honors by the NFL Draft report. With Turfant racking in so many starts in his career, he got the chance to improve his craft and tighten his skill-set.
“As a young kid I was an athletic kid out there with not too much technique,” Trufant said in a conference call shortly after he was drafted. “As a senior I really focused on my technique, my footwork and my patience.”
If the name Trufant sounds familiar, it’s because Desmond has two older brothers that have played in the NFL. Marcus was drafted in the first round by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2003 and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2007. Isaiah was on the practice squad with the New York Jets and the Philadelphia Eagles after playing in the Arena Football League and NFL Europe. They watched the draft with Desmond and they offered their advice.
“They told me it’s time to make a name and an impact in the league,” said the youngest Trufant. “I’m ready to come in and work hard from Day 1.”
With the Falcons taking a corner with their No. 1 pick, Trufant is expected to be an impact player sooner than later. Asante Samuel is the team’s No. 1 corner, but they are expecting Trufant to be their top corner within the next few years.
“He has No. 1 ability and we all know that can take time in this league,” Dmitroff said. “We’re encouraged by him and we have nice expectations for Desmond in an Atlanta Falcons uniform.
Trufant knows that this team has high goals and the expectations for him are high. He is ready to do what it takes to help the team win.
“They were 10 yards away from going to the Super Bowl,” Trufant said talking about the Falcons last season. “They are a great team so I’m going to be ready to come in and work. Asante Samuel is one of the best in the game. I’m going to learn as much as possible from him.”
The Falcons will continue to build their team through the draft as the second and third round take place on Friday night. Because of the trade with the Rams, the Falcons will not have a third round pick so they will only have one pick on Friday. Rounds 4-7 take place on Saturday and it will be a busy day for the Falcons as they will have seven choices including two fourth round picks, a fifth round pick and four picks in the seventh round.