Detroit Lions: No one should overlook Desmond Trufant

Desmond Trufant, Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Desmond Trufant, Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Desmond Trufant, Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Desmond Trufant, Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Trufant will be a big part of the secondary

Desmond Trufant has been a solid to very good cornerback in the NFL for seven years. Last season when injuries forced him out of the lineup for seven games he still hauled in a career-high four interceptions.

Trufant will turn 30 just before the season starts and that is an age that things can start to go south quick for an athlete, but his signing was a low risk-high reward move.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day when he mentioned he didn’t like the Trufant signing because ‘who needs a cornerback that was released because he’s too old’.

I had to point out that Trufant was not released because of performance issues. Age may have factored in, but when Atlanta sent Trufant packing it was a salary cap move not a performance issue. Despite missing time due to injury he still played very well last season and doesn’t appear to be slowing down yet.

I then also reminded him that Trufant is the same age as Darius Slay who he desperately wanted to Lions to hold on to. But unlike Slay, Trufant wants to be here. Which makes a big difference in a locker room that seems to have become pretty well galvanized over the course of this unusual offseason and training camp so far.

Trufant will be another mentor to young Okudah, but it doesn’t stop there. He will also mentor what appears to be his eventual successor, Amani Oruwariye.

Oruwariye had a solid rookie season and will push for playing time this year, especially after playing well down the stretch. But for the moment Trufant will keep the corner warm for him and most likely do so at an above-average level.

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Because if the truth be told, Desmond Trufant is Darius Slay’s replacement, not Jeff Okudah. In time Okudah will become the prominent face in the Lions secondary. But for this season at least, Trufant represents the veteran corner who has played at a high level.

The secondary should be a strength for the Lions and given the aid of a pass-rush could surprise many around the NFL. Including their own fans. Just don’t overlook Desmond Trufant.