In his third year, Desmond Trufant has shown that he is everything Atlanta's front office had hoped for and more when drafting him in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Commonly known as "Sticky Man Tru" amongst the team, Trufant has made his mark on the Falcons' defense with his meticulous instincts and ball awareness as he continues to add to his craft.
Trufant's work ethic combined with his extreme attention to detail have perfected his technique, so it comes as no surprise that the University of Washington grad has evolved into one of the best shutdown cornerback's in the League today.
Perhaps what sets Trufant apart from the rest, is his proactive mindset every time he takes the field. Whether it's practice or a game, the cornerback has a standard that he strives to meet day in and day out.
"I just compete," Trufant said. "I'm always competing with myself. If they aren't throwing my way (I ask myself), 'was all of my technique on point?' 'Did he get any separation?' I am always competing."
Trufant's older brothers Marcus and Isaiah have 14 years of combined NFL experience and often provide advice to their youngest brother.
"The biggest thing I've gotten from them is to stay on the course, regardless of what happens," Trufant said of his brothers. "It's about consistency; you want to always be well rounded. Staying consistent is the biggest thing they have told me."
In three seasons, Trufant has recorded six interceptions, two in the first season, three in his second and one so far in his third season. In turn, he has earned the respect of most opponents as they often stay away from throwing to the side Trufant is playing.
The 26-year-old is tied for second in the NFL in pass breakups since being drafted in 2013 and feels more comfortable than ever in head coach Dan Quinn's defense. Trufant played in a similar defensive scheme in college under former Huskies head coach Steve Sarkisian.
"I was in a similar system in college," Trufant said of the transition to Quinn's defensive system. "Even the words are kind of the same. I love it. It's simple and we get to play fast. There isn't too much thinking involved. You know what your key is, you know what your assignment is, and when you see it, you go get it."
With an apparent dedication to his style of play combined with his comfort in the Falcons' defense, there is no ceiling on what he could accomplish.
"I want to be great," Trufant said. "I feel the sky is the limit for me and I am pushing towards that."