What to Expect from New Lions CB Desmond Trufant
Longtime Lions cornerback Darius Slay is out. Fellow veteran corner and longtime Atlanta Falcon Desmond Trufant is in.
He inked a two-year, $20 million contract with Detroit last Wednesday -- with base salaries of $4.5 million and $9.5 million in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Trufant's best days on a football field are likely behind him, as he turns 30 September 10.
However, he still possesses more than adequate coverage skills to go along with high-end agility.
He is also known for his ability to play clean, smart football.
In fact, according to The Athletic Detroit's Nick Baumgardner, "His burn rate in 2019 was zero (burn rate equals percentage of targets faced where the receiver gains at least 5 yards of separation). In 2018, it was 0.8 percent."
Trufant ended the 2019 campaign with a career-high four interceptions, but played in less than a full season's worth of games due to toe and forearm injuries.
During the nine games he played in, he defended 245 routes (27.2 per game; 11th-most in the NFL), was targeted 5.3 times per contest (eighth-most in the league) and permitted just 33 catches (ninth-best), according to PlayerProfiler.com.
For the time being, he should be a competent successor to Slay as the Lions' No. 1 CB.
He also should serve as a valuable mentor to the team's young defensive backs, including Amani Oruwariye, Dee Virgin and Mike Ford.
And if the organization ends up taking former Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah at No. 3 overall in this April's NFL Draft, Trufant will serve as an equally important mentor to him.
Get ready, Detroit fans. With each passing day, the possibility of a Trufant-Okudah one-two punch in the Lions' defensive backfield is becoming more and more likely.
And in the post-Slay era, Detroit could do a lot worse.