Expecting your first-round pick to start right away and make an impact is a risk in any season. This year, the Falcons took that risk with first-round cornerback Desmond Trufant and it paid off. More and more each week, Trufant is involved in key plays in games and he’s earning his first-round draft status. Trufant leads the team in pass deflections this season and he’s got one interception through 13 weeks.
Trufant had one tackle and one pass defense against the Bills last week and according to Stats LLC., Trufant’s 14 pass deflections this season are the most by a Falcons rookie in a single season. The previous high for the franchise was owned by Darnell Walker, who recorded 13 pass deflections in 1993.
Stats shared by NFL.com list Trufant with 15 pass deflections on the season, second among all rookies behind Kansas City’s Marcus Cooper. With 15, Trufant is tied with Philadelphia’s Brandon Boykin and Arizona’s Patrick Peterson for second among all NFC cornerbacks.
Trufant’s interception this season came against Carolina and his season-high three pass deflections came against Tampa Bay in Week 7. He’s had a pass breakup in every game this season except two.
After a tough training camp facing off against Julio Jones and Roddy White every day, Trufant earned the starting job in Week 1 and has started every game since. This season, he’s played 94 percent of the possible 805 defensive snaps. Against Buffalo, he missed just one snap.
As the season winds down and thoughts turn to next season, at cornerback the Falcons appear to be looking good. With more experience under his belt, there’s a good chance Trufant will begin to turn those pass deflections into interceptions and really start to change games in coming seasons.