If an NFL team trades up in the draft to get a particular player, then it’s a safe bet that said particular player is being set up to become the next big thing for that team. In the case of the Atlanta Falcons cornerbacks, general manager Thomas Dimitroff’s trade-up-for player is Desmond Trufant…but Trufant may not be as clear-cut of a ‘next big thing’ as fans might think.
Though Trufant’s college career speaks for itself, there’s no denying that Robert McClain had a most impressive 2012 season for the Falcons. Does that make McClain an automatic starter choice for this upcoming season? Absolutely not. The main possible lock is currently Asante Samuel. Samuel is an established veteran with some good playing years left in him, and the rookies will learn much from his experience and tutelage.
What better way to make McClain (and maybe even Samuel) work that much harder to attain even greater heights than a little competition from the likes of Trufant? Don’t forget also that, although they didn’t trade up for him, Robert Alford was the Falcons’ second draft pick and is also a vital part of this competition equation. All players become better and stronger while honing their craft and individual skills that much more (age notwithstanding in the case of Samuel). The team as a whole benefits from the efforts of those players, and the younger players are making essential moves in gaining valuable knowledge and in building their own legacies…for themselves and for the team. A perfect blend of the present and future cornerback talents spurring each other onward and upward towards a Super Bowl victory.
In a word…winning.
Well played, Mr. Dimitroff. Well played.