The Detroit Lions took a big chance on Desmond Trufant when he was released this offseason, and heading into the 2020 year, there’s a chance for that gamble to pay off handsomely for the team.
Recently, Pro Football Focus took a look at identifying players who are entering prove-it years on the field. Only one member of the Lions made the list, and it was Trufant, the cornerback who will be starting over when he hits Detroit this fall.
According to writer Sam Monson, Trufant is facing a huge challenge this season as it relates to stepping up and proving he can be a cornerback who does a bit of everything for a team that needs him in a significant way on the field.
“At the start of his career, Desmond Trufant looked like the next great cornerback in the NFL, but injuries and decline in play have ended that talk. The former 2013 first-round pick now heads to Detroit hoping to prove he can step into the role vacated by Darius Slay and at least not be a downgrade for the Lions. Over the first two seasons of his career, Trufant earned a PFF grade over 80.0 both years but hasn’t surpassed that mark since. Over his past two healthy seasons, Trufant notched 24 pass breakups but was also beaten for a passer rating of over 100.0 and saw more than 60% of the passes thrown his way go for completions. Trufant still has the ability to be a No. 1 corner, but he now finds himself under pressure to prove it.”
The Lions certainly need Trufant to play a huge role for the team given their defensive backfield needs some big changes after a tough 2019 season. If he’s healthy, Trufant can certainly play a role for the team and perhaps be the elite cornerback the Lions need him to be on the field.
In the meantime, however, he will face more than a bit of pressure to do so right off the bat.
Desmond Trufant Signed With Lions
After Trufant was released by the Atlanta Falcons, the Lions snapped him up quickly. According to ESPN’s Jordan Schultz, Trufant was signed to a 2 year, $21 million dollar deal which included $14 million in guaranteed money.
Trufant had been with the Falcons since 2013 and was a draft pick of the team. He played a huge role in Atlanta and is a key part of Detroit’s plan in accounting for the loss of Darius Slay this offseason, who was traded away. Given his youth, there’s a chance that Trufant could come in and play an immediately elite role for the Lions if he fits within the team’s defense.
Desmond Trufant Statistics
The former Washington Huskies cornerback is 29 years old and certainly has made his mark in the league from a statistical standpoint. Trufant was a Pro Bowler in 2015, and has put up 329 total tackles and 13 interceptions in his career. Trufant also has put up 79 pass deflections in his career.
Trufant will come to Detroit with some major upside as it relates to being a key player in the defensive turnaround. Obviously, he will have to step up and play a huge role for a defense that will need him right away.
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