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Does Quinn Turn Trufant Into The Next Sherman?


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It's difficult to trumpet any player who serves as a key cog within the NFL's 32nd-ranked defense. Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant is the rare exception.

During his second year in the league, Trufant has already developed into one of the league's top cover corners.

That might be a surprising statement considering the Falcons are also ranked 32nd overall in pass defense, but the unit's overall ineffectiveness doesn't necessarily reflect on every individual within the scheme.

Trufant's ascension to near-elite status shouldn't come as a surprise after a stunningly strong rookie campaigna rookie season in which the Falcons were again ranked dead last in pass defense.

However, the play of the first-year cornerback didn't go unnoticed. Trufant was named Pro Football Focus' Defensive Rookie of the Year for the 2013 season. PFF's Khaled Elsayed explained the thought process behind the decision:

Trufant looked a little lost in preseason but were now convinced he was just rope-a-doping us because once the regular season started he looked like exactly the player the Falcons needed from the draft. He ended the year with a league-leading 15 pass break-ups to go with his two picks, allowing just 53.4 percent of balls thrown his way to be completed.

That EARNED him the eighth-highest coverage grade of all cornerbacks and what makes that so special and him the Defensive Rookie of the Year, is just how hard that is to do as a rookie.

Even as a rookie, Trufant performed at a very high level. His plus-11.0 coverage grade from PFF (subscription required) was better than the grades posted by Pro Bowl performers Patrick Peterson, Joe Haden, Alterraun Verner, Brandon Flowers, Antonio Cromartie and Tim Jennings.

Top cornerbacks (2013)

Player Teams Coverage grade

Vontae Davis Colts 15.8

Brandon Boykin Eagles 15.7

Brent Grimes Dolphins 15.3

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Broncos 13.4

Richard Sherman Seahawks 12.3

Leodis McKelvin Bills 11.7

Desmond Trufant Falcons 11.0

Pro Football Focus

Trufant is on pace to have a better sophomore campaign if he CONTINUES on his current upward trend.

The University of Washington product already owns a plus-9.4 (subscription required) pass coverage grade from PFF with four games remaining. Trufant only graded negatively twice all season.

But it's within the past month that the former first-round pick has truly stepped up his game against some of the best competition.

Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals, Trufant posted three of his four highest-graded games of the season. He did so while facing the likes of Vincent Jackson, Josh Gordon, Michael Floyd and two young receivers in Mike Evans and Kelvin Benjamin who are vying for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.

Falcons Communications Coordinator Matt Haley relayed exactly how well Trufant played during the past four games:

Trufant's performance against the Browns in particular drew a lot of attention because it was the return of Gordon to the Browns' lineup.

Gordon, who led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards in 2013, was suspended for the first 10 games of the season due to another failed drug test.

Despite his off-the-field problems, Gordon is still one of the most physically gifted receivers in the NFL. At 6'3" and 225 POUNDS, Gordon is in the same class as Detroit's Calvin Johnson and Cincinnati's A.J. Green when it comes to pure natural GIFTS.

The Falcons cornerback more than held his own when matched up directly against Gordon. Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer completed only four of nine passes to Gordon when Trufant was in coverage. Two of those passes were screens, while Trufant didn't allow a touchdown and snagged an interception.

An argument can be made that Gordon wasn't entirely up to speed and needed to shake off some rust in his first regular-season game action since Dec. 29, 2013.

But Trufant was determined not to get beat by Gordon.

The Browns decided to test the young cornerback early in the CONTEST with a go route down the sideline. ESPN's Ben Fennell provided a perfect look at Trufant's coverage on the deep route:

During this play, Trufant displayed an ability to flip his hips, stay stride for stride with Gordon, locate the football and use his length to disrupt the pass.

It was only one play, but that one play encapsulates the potential Trufant presents.

A week later, Trufant wasn't facing one of the NFL's elite wide receiversArizona's Larry Fitzgerald didn't play due to a sprained MCLbut the cornerback CONTINUED to play at a very high level.

In doing so, Trufant showed another aspect of his game, as captured by Fennell:

Not only can Trufant turn and run with the best receivers in man coverage, but he can also sit back in zone coverage and drive on the football to make plays.

Bleacher Report featured columnist Scott Carasik perfectly illustrated Trufant's effectiveness against the Cardinals:

Trufant has all the physical tools to eventually develop into the NFL's top cornerback. He has prerequisite size and length at 6'0" with 31 1/4" arms as well as top end-speed with a 4.38-second 40-yard dash timing to handle the biggest deep threats in the league.

Trufant is also very quick in short areas as evidenced by his 3.85-second short shuttle at the NFL combine in Indianapolis.

For comparison, Darrelle Revis, who is widely considered one of if not the best cornerback in the NFL, ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash and a 4.08-second short shuttle, according to NFLDraftScout.com.

Two cornerbacksAlabama's Dee Milliner (Jets) and Houston D.J. Hayden (Raiders)were eventually selected higher than Trufant, who was chosen with the 22nd pick of the 2013 NFL draft.

Not only is the former Husky the best cornerback from his draft class, the 24-year-old Trufant is already one best young defenders in the NFL.

Unless otherwise noted, combine information courtesy of NFL.com.

Brent Sobl

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********. trufant can be better, but he and sherman arent the same style of corner.

********. trufant can be better, but he and sherman arent the same style of corner.

really ********....i was talking legacy. any moron would have figured that out. step down bich
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For starters. Sherman is a great corner but there's 3 or 4 in the league just as good and Noone talks about their legacy. Sherman is a great self promoter.

Quinn had nothing to do with shermans success. In fact, Sherman probably had more to do with quinns success than vice versa.

Trufant is going to always be a slightly overrated top ten to fifteen corner imo. He's going to have some really nice days and some decent days and very few bad days.

I don't see him being a huge diffrence maker like Sherman unless we can manage to put together a similar seahawks defense

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For starters. Sherman is a great corner but there's 3 or 4 in the league just as good and Noone talks about their legacy. Sherman is a great self promoter.

Quinn had nothing to do with shermans success. In fact, Sherman probably had more to do with quinns success than vice versa.

Trufant is going to always be a slightly overrated top ten to fifteen corner imo. He's going to have some really nice days and some decent days and very few bad days.

I don't see him being a huge diffrence maker like Sherman unless we can manage to put together a similar seahawks defense

fair enough about sherman, im trying to give credence to your opinion of trufant, but the only thing you knew about him before sherman called him a beast is that dimitroff screwed up by moving up for him...so you can step down to
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Quinn would be stupid if he just kept Tru on one side of the field, like they normally do with Sherman. Let Tru roam free and shadow the top WRs of the other team.

Tru may be the only #1 CB that actually spent most of a game up Beji's arse in that first match-up. It took a freak of nature TD catch for Benji to score. It was impressive because, while Benji isn't fast or the best route runner, he would at least find a way to get a little distance a couple times a game. Just not really from Tru in that first match-up. He may have did better against Benji than Sherman did.

I think Quinn upgrades yalls pass rush...and upgrades your safety position and either works with your MLB if he believes him to be the future of that position, or he grabs a new one that gets his stamp of approval. He may not make Tru into Revis Island at his peak, but Tru will definitely benefit greatly.

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For starters. Sherman is a great corner but there's 3 or 4 in the league just as good and Noone talks about their legacy. Sherman is a great self promoter.

Quinn had nothing to do with shermans success. In fact, Sherman probably had more to do with quinns success than vice versa.

Trufant is going to always be a slightly overrated top ten to fifteen corner imo. He's going to have some really nice days and some decent days and very few bad days.

I don't see him being a huge diffrence maker like Sherman unless we can manage to put together a similar seahawks defense

I'm gonna disagree with you here Syco. Trufant is already a top 10 corner based on QB rating against. Dude sticks to his man like glue. All that without any semblance of a pass rush. Finally found some stick'em later on in the year. If that carries over i think his potential is the #1 corner in the game. I'd compare Sherman more to a guy like Willie Brown and Trufant more akin to Darrell Green

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Why can't you guys accept the fact that I'm the alpha bull. I was voted alpha bull by my peers. You can't go around all Willy nilly calling yourself alpha bull

I mean , ffs my official twitter handle is alphabull1. I have six followers. I rest my case.

Exactly how many Alpha Bulls are there in RC? If you really are THE ONE AND ONLY you need to somehow call these other impostors out. I didn't vote the last time. problem is you have some REALLY ******* delusional self-proclaimed He-Men here.......or is that She-Men?post-2-1080915922.gif

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Exactly how many Alpha Bulls are there in RC? If you really are THE ONE AND ONLY you need to somehow call these other impostors out. I didn't vote the last time. problem is you have some REALLY ******* delusional self-proclaimed He-Men here.......or is that She-Men?post-2-1080915922.gif

There's one alpha bull jb. Through out history greatness has been imitated. Beatles, elvis, syCo rc alpha bull.

Bmf is pretty great as well. A great big ol *****.

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God it's sad isn't it? Next thing you know the poor little feller will be calling himself the King of RC...laugh.png

The Alpha Bull was coined by the WFW the King of RC. You cannot just give yourself a title without earning it! That poor fool is a hopeless case.

When WFW dies and is no longer on this board then you fools can all fight over all WFW titles. Until then there is only one:

WFW, King of RC, The Alpha Bull, The Top Prognosticator of RC

Dang I just realized something. Its sad to know we probably won't know if somebody lefted RC or just died

Edited by PantherWake
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