With the release of Antoine Winfield in March and the subsequent failure to bring him back at a lower salary, the Minnesota Vikings are left thin at cornerback. Chris Cook is now the most experienced corner on the team, and after him the talent drop-off is steep. Add in Cook’s past injury and off-field issues, and Winfield’s all-around veteran presence will clearly be missed.
Adding depth at cornerback in the draft next week has become a top priority for Minnesota, and bringing in someone who can step right in to start opposite Cook has to be considered a strong possibility.
Desmond Trufant was a four-year starter at Washington (47 career starts), but his lack of interception production (six) is noteworthy and a potential concern for NFL teams. That said, he has put together an excellent showing during the pre-draft process (4.38-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine) and has risen up draft boards.
Is Trufant a potential fit for the Vikings? Let’s take a closer look at him.
Weight: 190 lbs.
– Is very athletic; moves fluidly
– Exhibits good agility and short area quickness; changes direction well
– Shows excellent competitive nature; is not afraid to fight for the ball in the air
– Has experience in both man and zone coverage
– Has an NFL pedigree (brothers Marcus and Isaiah)
– Is not afraid to mix it up against the run
– Needs to get stronger and play with better overall physicality
– Needs to improve his technique as a tackler
– Reverts to bad habits in coverage at times, leading to big plays
– Does not have natural ball skills and is not a natural catcher
Trufant is widely projected as a first-round pick right now, with a couple of recent mock drafts having him going as high as 13th overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His ability to possibly step right into a significant role will appeal to the Vikings, but it’s possible he will not be available when they pick in the first round (23rd and 25th overall). All things considered it may be a blessing in disguise if Trufant goes off the board before Minnesota goes on the clock, since I think he is a poor fit overall.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.