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Desmond Trufant is the league’s best in press coverage

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Trufant is almost shockingly good when he can get physical with a wide receiver.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons
You don’t want to catch these hands.
Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

We knew before the 2013 NFL draft, the Falcons would be selecting a cornerback early. They double dipped, selecting Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford in the first and second round. There was constant debate that offseason, with many wondering if the bigger, more physical Xavier Rhodes would be a better fit.

Both Trufant and Rhodes turned into Pro Bowl players, so there was clearly no wrong selection here. The surprising thing here is Trufant is the better player in press coverage. He’s better than Rhodes, and per Pro Football Focus, he’s better than every other corner in the league.

Cornerback Desmond Trufant has seen 20 targets when he’s lined up in press coverage this season, and he’s logged one interception and five pass breakups, for a playmaker index (total number of interceptions and pass breakups divided by targets in coverage) of 30.0 percent. That figure is good for first among cornerbacks with at least 15 targets in press coverage.

Those are some pretty impressive stats. Dan Quinn’s defense has been best when running man coverage, especially when their aggressive corners can get their hands on wide receivers. We can see, in part, why with Trufant’s extraordinary numbers.