New England Patriots

How Desmond Trufant Would Fit into the Patriots Secondary

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Cornerback Desmond Trufant #6 of the Washington Huskies reacts after defending a pass to wide receiver Ty Montgomery of the Stanford Cardinal on September 27, 2012 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington. Washington defeated Stanford 17-13.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Erik FrenzSenior Writer IFebruary 8, 2013

Would the New England Patriots really spend another first-round pick on a cornerback?

That's exactly what Bleacher Report's Matt Miller thinks will happen, as he projected them to take Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant with the 29th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

I can hear the collective sighing in New England already, but if the Patriots are unable to bring back free-agent cornerback Aqib Talib, another early pick on a cornerback wouldn't be the worst thing that could possibly happen.

Here's what Miller had to say about the pick:

Expect a run on cornerbacks to end the first round. You can also bet on Desmond Trufant looking like a steal at the conclusion of the round. ...Trufant covers, runs and trash talks like a first-rounder. He has the skill set to really move up the board between now and April.

In a recent video posted to Bleacher Report, Miller compared Trufant to Buccaneers cornerback Eric Wright, citing his ability to hold his own in man coverage when left out on an island against an opponent's No. 1 receiver.

Miller also praised Trufant's technique, pointing out his fluid hips and quick feet as positive assets.

At 6'0" and 186 pounds, Trufant is slightly bigger than defensive backs the Patriots have targeted in the past, but cornerbacks like Ras-I Dowling and Talib have broken the mold of late.

The real problem is how much the Patriots have invested in the position recently, and how little they've gotten back for it.

The Patriots have spent seven first- and second-round picks on defensive backs in the past six years. Unless the team surprisingly brings back Patrick Chung, only three of those seven picks will remain on the roster in 2013: 2010 first-round pick Devin McCourty (at a new position), 2011 second-round pick Ras-I Dowling and 2012 second-round pick Tavon Wilson.

If Talib is gone, though, cornerback would once again be a top position of need for New England—that is, unless they want to move McCourty back to cornerback. Drafting a cornerback mitigates the need to move McCourty from safety, where he has elite potential if given a full offseason to learn the position.

There are a lot of questions around the Patriots secondary headed into the 2013 offseason, and drafting Trufant would be one way to provide some answers.

 

Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless otherwise specified, all quotes are obtained firsthand or via team press releases.

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