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NFL Draft 2013 Recap: The First Round And Desmond Trufant

Breaking down a controversial first round pick for the Atlanta Falcons.

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

If I've learned anything over my seven years at The Falcoholic, it's that no draft pick the Atlanta Falcons make comes without controversy.

Desmond Trufant proves that. The Falcons traded away their first rounder, third rounder and sixth rounder to jump up eight spots and grab Trufant, a move that made what might have been a mildly controversial pick a very controversial pick. The question on a lot of your minds is, was this the right move?

As I see it, there are three perspectives here.

The Happy Fan

These fans see Trufant as the second or third best cornerback in the draft. They see a natural athlete with special teams prowess who could become the team's top cornerback within a couple of seasons, and should step right in as a starter. They think giving up the third and sixth round picks were a reasonable price to address the team's biggest need with a quality player, and they believe Trufant would have been gone by 30.

The happy fan sees this as a good-to-great, necessary move, and applaud it.

The Angry Fan

For this group, Trufant is an overrated prospect. He's not physical enough, not good enough against the run and doesn't change direction fluidly enough. They believe he might be an average #2 starting cornerback. Taking him at 30 would have been one thing, but to trade up eight spots? That's a waste of a third round pick that might have yielded a valuable player, and who's to say Trufant would have been gone by 30 anyways?

The angry fan sees this as a lackluster-to-terrible, unnecessary move, and they boo it. In extreme cases, they even say that this could cost Thomas Dimitroff his job, which okay.

The Falcons

I'm not in the war room, but common sense tells me this.

The Falcons traded up eight spots for Desmond Trufant because they believed he was worth trading up. They may even have believed he'd make it as far as he did. In Trufant, they unquestionably see a long-term starter, and they think he's going to be an awfully good one.

How do I know this? Because they traded up for him. I feel like every year our brains do a hard reset and we assume that Thomas Dimitroff and his team are too stupid to do the thing we believe is right, but it's a fairly simple equation. The Falcons thought Trufant was the best corner on the board, they thought he could be very good for the Falcons and they thought he'd be gone if they didn't move up. They knew this because they talk to other teams and they've scouted Trufant extensively, and while they certainly could be wrong, the homework they've done here dwarfs ours. That's the pick, explained.

I like the pick, personally, though I'm not yet at the point where I'd say I love it. There were cornerbacks I believe the Falcons could have waited until 30 to get who would have been starting-caliber players, and the Falcons would still have a third round pick to play with. We do have to consider that depth is an issue on this roster.

Until he gets on the field and either proves himself or falls flat on his face, we're going to argue about the wisdom of the pick. We should, as fans, and even though it's vaguely silly to stack our evaluations up against an NFL front office, it's both fun and part of the experience of being a fan. But we should also all recognize that the front office has a thought process that led them to this pick, and by understanding that, we can sharpen our respective arguments.

Continue the discussion here, and let us know who you're thinking the Falcons will pick in the second round.

Remaining Falcons Draft Picks

  • Second round: No. 60
  • Fourth round: No. 127 and No. 133 (compensatory)
  • Fifth round: No. 163
  • Sixth round: No. 198
  • Seventh round: No. 236, No. 243 (compensatory), No. 244 (compensatory) and No. 249 (compensatory).

Remaining Draft Needs


Defensive End

Offensive line

Tight end


Related Links

Complete Atlanta Falcons draft coverage

Falcons pick Desmond Trufant

Falcons draft needs

Falcon draft predictions

NFL Draft schedule