Desmond Trufant is having exactly the kind of season we all hoped for in 2014. He has only one interception to his name, but he's been generally excellent in coverage, consistently makes plays and has graded out as a top ten cornerback on Pro Football Focus, making their Pro Bowl cheat sheet as a reserve. Tru deserves all the praise you can pile on him.
The only knock on him, in fact, is the level of competition. He was admittedly fortunate to avoid Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green earlier this year, and because he tends to stick to his side of the field, Alford has at times wound up facing the tougher matchup on paper. Last Sunday, Trufant stuck close to top Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin all game, and he'll likely do the same against Josh Gordon in Week 12. If this is successful—and I expect it will be—the Falcons may elect to have Trufant shadow teams' top receivers most weeks.
That would be welcome, both because of Trufant's undeniable wizardry in coverage and Robert Alford's wrist injury, which promises to keep him out between two weeks and the rest of the season, depending on how quickly he heals up. It was reasonably productive against Benjamin and it definitely helped out against Steve Smith versus the Ravens, and even if Robert McClain returns swiftly to his 2012 form, it's never a terrible idea to put your most capable cornerback on a great wide receiver. If Trufant can handle a guy like Josh Gordon one-on-one, the Falcons can feel comfortable about giving McClain and Josh Wilson safety help as needed.
The NFL is starting to notice just how good Trufant is, and a reputation can keep quarterbacks from throwing on top tier corners. Let's hope Tru locks down Gordon on Sunday, and that he'll continue to do so against top options from now until his retirement at the ripe old age of 44.
#Falcons Film: Trufant has a chance to become a top 5 NFL corner. Could argue he's top 15 already, maybe even top 10.
— Andy Benoit (@Andy_Benoit) November 21, 2014
Your thoughts about how the Falcons will use Trufant tomorrow?