With the 12th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select....
Desmond Trufant, Cornerback, University of Washington
Around The Phinsider that's a popular prediction of what could happen later this month when the NFL Draft kicks off. It's also an opinion that's starting to build outside of the site, including in Armando Salguero's visit with NFL Network yesterday. To get a better idea of what the Dolphins would be getting with a selection of Trufant, I turned to kirkd from SB Nation's UW Dawg Pound.
Kirk was kind enough to give us a break down of Trufant from the eyes of a Washington Huskies fan.
Strengths: Trufant has demonstrated strong cover skills - he has good hip turn and enough speed to stay with most receivers and to close quickly on the ball. While he doesn't have the outstanding hands of a guy like Richard Sherman, he does a good job getting his hands in there and deflecting the ball or ripping the receivers's arm to prevent the catch. He displays willingness to stick his facemask in guys and doesn't shy away from run support or fighting through a block on the bubble screen play. His 4.5 tackles for loss this year reflects his aggressiveness. His 4.38 40 time at the NFL combine backed up assertions by the UW coaching staff that he was the fastest player on the team.
Weaknesses: He's probably never going to post high interception totals - while his hands aren't bad, he usually chooses the safe play of knocking the ball away rather than gambling to make the pick. While he's willing to mix it up physically, his form isn't always great, and he could stand to get stronger. He has decent size at 6' even and 190lbs, but he's not one of the Pete Carroll breed of big DB's. He played a lot of zone earlier in his career under Nick Holt, but didn't appear entirely comfortable with it. He improved his press skills this year under Justin Wilcox & Keith Heyward, but he's got a long ways to go to really be effective at it.
Odds & Ends: Trufant was a 4-year starter for the Huskies and had a strong true freshmen campaign that grabbed the attention of a lot of people. He appeared to stagnate a bit over the next two seasons, but in hindsight a lot of that was likely due to him being asked to play mostly zone coverage; when the new defensive staff was brought in to Washington prior to the 2012 season and much more man and press coverage was implemented, Trufant thrived. Against USC he was mostly matched up with Marqise Lee and the superstar WR was limited to 2 catches for 32 yards. Trufant was a team captain as a Senior and the defensive player Sark chose to bring with him to the Pac-12 Media Day this year. He also won the oldest & most prestigious Husky team honor - the Guy Flaherty Award for most inspirational player. Trufant is a pretty soft-spoken guy in interviews, but on the field he's known as the most prolific trash talker on the team - he doesn't lack for confidence in himself. He comes from a good family, and there's never been any talk of him being in trouble at the UW.
A big thank you to Kirk for taking the time to give us a look at Trufant. What do you guys think of the corner as a Dolphins' draft prospect? Let us know in the comments, and make sure you check out UW Dawg Pound for more on Trufant and all things Huskies.