I don’t know about all of you out there in New Orleans Saints country, but all this Manti Te’o talk from Mel Kiper has me a little bit worried for Who Dat Nation. I would like to think that the Saints would bring in a guy with a bit more class and smarts than the guy who was duped by Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. Perhaps they will bring someone into the fold like Desmond Trufant instead.
First, let’s take a look at some of the intangibles of Desmond Trufant. He stands at 6’0″ and tips the scales at 190 pounds. His overall size is the only reason some scouts have predicted him to be a Day 2 selection rather than a first-rounder like his brother Marcus, who was a first round pick by the Seattle Seahawks in 2003.
Feb 25, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Washington Huskies defensive back Desmond Trufant runs the 40 yard dash during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
One thing that intrigues me about Trufant is his incredible speed. Of all who ran in the NFL Combine, Trufant was just 2 hundredths of a second short of the best 40-yard dash time at his position. Desmond Trufant was actually tied for 8th overall out of the entire class of draftees.
When I look at a prospect that the New Orleans Saints may take, I like to look at what players do outside of the box score, even though stats are ultimately how players are rated, fairly or unfairly. In 2009, Trufant’s first with the Washington Huskies, he started 9 of the team’s 12 games. He also won the Most Outstanding Freshman Award given by the team.
In 2010, Trufant deflected 4 passes and picked off 1 more. These aren’t mind boggling numbers, but when you think about it, quarterbacks and opposing offensive coordinators are much less likely to throw in the direction of a great corner than they are anywhere else on the field. When you take that into consideration, it becomes less about stats, and a lot more about what the lack of passes that came his way really means.
In 2011, Desmond Trufant’s tackle total rose, along with his fumble recoveries and pass deflections. No one can say this guy doesn’t give maximum effort, as many of his best moments came late in games.
In 2012, Trufant finished out his career with another pick, and 4.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Playing up closer to the line of scrimmage and different blitz packages during his senior season contributed to this jump.
Here’s a look at the breakdown of Desmond Trufant’s college totals:
6 interceptions in 50 games doesn’t look like much on paper, but again, the lack of passes that came his way, coupled with the fact that Trufant deflected 33 total passes means a lot more to me than the number of times he picked the ball off. I’d be thrilled to see him opposite Jabari Greer and the other New Orleans Saints cornerbacks in 2013! It certainly wouldn’t be an unlikely choice if Trufant is still available in the Saints’ slot, as they have Patrick Robinson (7 INTs in the last 2 seasons) and Malcolm Jenkins (94 tackles and 1 INT returned for a TD in 2012) on their roster, and both were selected by the team in the first round.
Though it remains to be seen what exactly the New Orleans Saints will do, I’m very excited about this draft, as well as the possible moves that our Bless You Boys will make in 2013! Here’s to hoping for another Super Bowl season.