In one of the worst seasons in Falcons recent history, you'd be forgiven if you found it difficult to find any bright spots. Well, the good folks at Pro Football Focus are here to help. They've selected Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant as their Defensive rookie of the year.
While everyone is rightfully looking towards the 2014 off-season and NFL draft, it is also a good time to look back on the first year for our 2013 draft class. Given the animosity some fans had towards the move-up to grab Trufant, it was not a certainty that he'd be a "welcome" addition to the team. In fact, rumblings during the pre-season were leaning towards the team starting fellow rookie Robert Alford over Trufant, who was apparently struggling.
Those struggles, however, must have served as great lessons, as the rookie corner ended up as the 7th ranked corner in the NFL according to PFF. His 15 pass break-ups lead the league and he had the 8th highest coverage grade in the NFL for the year. And all of this came while playing on one of the worst pass-pressure teams in the league - which makes his accomplishments even more impressive.
Join me in congratulating Desmond Trufant on a fantastic rookie season. Here's to hoping for many more like it!