View Full Version : Senior Bowl Report: North Team defensive backs look to impress in different ways

01-22-2013, 10:09 PM
http://www.finheaven.com/images/imported/2013/01/yahoo_DwayneGratz_AaronMellette-1.jpg (http://us.lrd.yahoo.com/_ylt=Aq5EgBOUpd0B49Qjqx2alsBYYsp_;_ylu=X3oDMTFka3BkYnE0BG1pdANCbG9nIEJvZHkEcG9zAzEEc2VjA01lZGlhQmxvZ0JvZHlBc3NlbWJseQ--;_ylg=X3oDMTJtZWdyY2U0BGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDZDg0MGE3MWUtMGFmNi0zYzcwLWFmNTgtZGU4ZTc2ZDAwNzE4BHBzdGNhdANuZmwEcHQDc3RvcnlwYWdl;_ylv=0/SIG=161u3uebo/EXP=1360116453/**http%3A//l2.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/JL9DZrEi1i0k5wE66RR.4Q--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NQ--/http%3A//media.zenfs.com/en/blogs/sptusnflexperts/yahoo_Dwayne-Gratz-_-Aaron-Mellette.jpg)Connecticut's Dwayne Gratz picks off a pass from Miami of Ohio's Zac Dysert to Elon's Aaron Mellette. (USAT Sports
MOBILE, Al. -- While the main story in most Senior Bowls is about the quarterbacks by nature, this year's somewhat underwhelming crop of signal-callers has a lot of people looking elsewhere when it comes to position groups of interest. That's what Shutdown Corner did on the field at Mobile's Ladd-Peebles Stadium, home of the Senior Bowl and its open practices through this week.
Tuesday morning's practice for the North team was a good time to size up a few defensive backs in different places from a draft position perspective. With the top two cornerbacks in this year's draft -- Alabama's Dee Milliner and Florida State's Xavier Rhodes -- out of this particular movie due to their underclassman status, it was up to some other kids to come out of the woodwork and show that they belonged.
Washington's Desmond Trufant lacks optimal top-end speed, but he is very fundamentally sound on everything. Keeps a low base when tuning and good technique gives him more speed that he actually has in tight quarters. Good hip flexion on turns, and he understands how to play the ball instead of the receiver for the most part. The fact that he has two NFL defensive backs (Marcus and Isaiah) as brothers shows up. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Trufant's Tuesday practice is that he does not get faked at all on jukes -- Kansas State's Chris Harper tried to take him on a three-juke move off the line on one drill, and Trufant stayed with him all the way.
However, Trufant will get beaten on deep stuff. He lost it on a deep sideline route to Oregon State's Markus Wheaton -- didn't play the ball and got lost downfield. Trufant reminds me of an embryonic version of Asante Samuel -- great fundamentals, good route jumper, and needs to get stronger in run support. That lack of a fifth gear may keep him out of the first round, but any team looking for a guy who can play slot and flex receivers in nickel and dime coverage, and trail a "Z" receiver down the sideline should be looking Trufant's way.
Read more:http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/senior-bowl-report-north-team-defensive-backs-look-234141093--nfl.html