A few days into training camp when this season began in August, first-round rookie corner Desmond Trufant got a dose of the NFL early and often. The team was testing the young corner, manning him against the likes of Roddy White and Julio Jones to see not only how well the rookie could play, but also how well he could forget and come back for more.
Falcons head coach Mike Smith that was intentional and as camp progressed, it was clear Trufant was progressing as well. When the season began, the cycle began again, but this time tested by opponents. He’s been targeted frequently this year and as the season has worn on, he’s progressed in the right direction.
Trufant snagged his first interception of his career in Week 9 against the Panthers and his 10 passes defensed ranks him as the top NFC rookie corner in that category and second among all rookie corners. Those 10 pass deflections are also tops on the Falcons this season.
Fellow rookie corner Robert Alford and Trufant combined account for half of the team’s six interceptions this season. Trufant’s 39 passes defensed is a University of Washington school record.