PFF landed on the Desmond Trufant addition as the Lions’ best move after signing him to a reasonable contract, 2-year, $20 million contract.
PFF highlights Trufant as one of the most valuable cornerbacks since 2013, pointing to how highly regarded his man-to-man coverage abilities are: “Trufant will fit perfectly within Matt Patricia’s defense and adding Jeff Okudah with the third overall pick — a player who is easily the best press-man corner in this draft class — would form a top-tier duo in their secondary.”
CB Desmond Trufant was the No. 3 available FA CB by
Trufant has earned a 70.0+ OVR grade in 6 of his 7 years in the NFL (2018, 69.5) His 89.9 COV grade since 2013 ranks T-14th among CBs and has 71 forced incomp. (12th), 12 were dropped INTs
The Atlanta Falcons struggled to defend the pass in 2018 due to a variety of reasons, including injuries at safety and a lack of pass rush. The end result was a 7-9 season in which the Falcons ranked No. 27 against the pass (259.6 passing yards allowed per game).
One standout for Atlanta’s secondary was their top cornerback Desmond Trufant. While it wasn’t his best year and he didn’t record any interceptions, he played mostly solid coverage on the deep passes that came his way. He only allowed two catches on 12 such targets.
Trufant ranked No. 9 among 59 qualifying cornerbacks in Pro Football Focus’ deep target coverage grade for 2018, with a score of 72.3.
Trufant, who was beset by injuries in 2019, finished No. 32 overall.
In relative terms, Slay was worse:
So, to say that Trufant has “significantly declined for a long time now” does not appear to be accurate. To the contrary, Trufant has been a model of consistency, except when injured.