Desmond’s final Trufant draft party

UW standout would be third member from Tacoma family who could play in NFL next year

eric.williams@thenewstribune.comApril 25, 2013 

Washington defensive back Desmond Trufant’s future is out of his hands after taking parts in combine drills in February and starting for four years at UW.

DAVE MARTIN/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

You can’t blame Lloyd Trufant is he’s experiencing a little déj vu.

In 2003, the Trufant family held a draft party for oldest son Marcus Trufant in downtown Tacoma.

The Wilson High and Washington State University product was selected No. 11 overall by the Seattle Seahawks, spending the past decade playing for his hometown team.

Fast forward 10 years later, and Lloyd and Constance Trufant are doing the same thing today for youngest son Desmond Trufant, who’s expected to be selected in the first round of this year’s draft.

“I’m actually pretty calm,” said Desmond a day before the draft. “I’ll just let what happens, happen. What I had to control and what I needed to do already has been done. So I’ll just be calm, and when I hear my name, just be excited.”

He said he took team visits to Atlanta, Jacksonville and New England. But he understands that doesn’t necessarily mean he will be drafted by one of those teams.

“I’m just ready to find out where I’m going to be and where I’m going to be living,” he said. “I’m just ready to get back to work

and get back to playing football.”

Just like for Marcus, the Trufants plan to hold a private draft party in downtown Tacoma for Desmond, with 300 family and friends in attendance waiting for Desmond’s name to be called.

All three brothers are scheduled to attend the event. Desmond Trufant initially committed to travel to the draft in New York, but the family later decided against it because the airplane travel would have been difficult for his grandfather, and they wanted more family members locally to attend the celebration.

“We’re real excited,” Lloyd Trufant said. “We’re real proud of Desmond and his accomplishments so far. I just hope things work out for him and he’s comfortable where he lands. Other than that, he’s just getting ready to see when his name will be called.”

Trufant is projected to go as high as No. 13 to the New York Jets, and as low as No. 30 to Atlanta depending on what mock draft you follow.

Rob Rang, senior draft analyst for NFLDraftScout.com, said he believes Trufant is the second-best cornerback in the draft behind Alabama’s Dee Milliner.

“The concern is that he’s not the most physical corner in the draft,” Rang said. “But at the same time, he has elite coverage skills, and he demonstrated that in a pass-happy conference throughout his career. He’s a four-year starter. He didn’t have to go to the Senior Bowl, but he surprised people by going there, and he was unquestionably the best corner there.

“I certainly believe that he’s a first-round player, and that he should be and will be drafted in the first round. I would be stunned if he didn’t go in the first round.”

Rang has Trufant going to Chicago at No. 20 in his latest mock draft.

Bucky Brooks, a former NFL scout for the Seahawks who now works as a draft analyst for the NFL Network, sees Trufant as an end-of-the-first-round talent.

Brooks said he believes Trufant is not a No. 1 cornerback, but could develop into a solid No. 2 corner or nickel cornerback for a team in the right system.

“I think he’s a very talented player,” Brook said. “But I don’t see him in the same light as some of the elite corners who have come through the daft in the last couple years. The big thing with him is he plays small on the field sometimes. When you see him in those 50/50 match-ups where he’s fighting for the ball against bigger receivers, sometimes he plays small.

“So you wonder how he will handle playing against some of the big-bodied receivers in the league like Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson.”

Brooks added that for a first-round cornerback he’d like to see more turnover production than the six career interceptions Trufant finished with at Washington. Brooks has Trufant as his fourth-ranked cornerback in this year’s draft class.

If Trufant is selected by the Jets, he would join older brother Isaiah, playing on a team with his brother for the first time. Jets general manager John Idzik is familiar with the Trufant family, having worked as the Seahawks’ salary cap specialist for six seasons before taking the job as the Jets’ head personnel man.

Desmond Trufant said he’s dreamed about playing with one of his brothers.

“I have,” he said. “That would be cool, playing with one of my brothers — a first-time thing.”

Added Lloyd Trufant, when asked about his sons playing on the same team: “I’ve been involved with the NFL thing for 10 years, so anything can happen. That would be another episode, another chapter to see them on the same team.

“But like I said, wherever he goes, if he’s happy, I’m happy.”

Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @eric_d_williams

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