Atlanta Falcons draft cornerback

Desmond Trufant, a star cornerback with Washington, was Atlanta's top pick. The Falcons traded up to get Trufant with the 22nd selection.

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — The Atlanta Falcons have traded up to select Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant in the NFL Draft.


The Falcons worked a deal with the St. Louis Rams to land the 22nd overall pick Thursday night. They swapped the 30th selection and also gave up their third- and six-round picks.

Trufant fills a major need after Atlanta lost three cornerbacks during the offseason. Dunta Robinson was cut in a cost-cutting move, while Brent Grimes and Christopher Owens signed with other teams in free agency. That left only four cornerbacks on the roster.

General manager Thomas Dimitroff has become known for his draft-day deals, most notably landing receiver Julio Jones a couple of years ago. Now, the Falcons have pulled off another notable trade.

Starting 45 consecutive games before missing a game against Colorado this year. Trufant grabbed one pick, broke up eight passes, forced a fumble, and blocked a kick. His play earned him 2012 All-Pac-12 first-team honors.

He was named honorable mention All-Pac 12 by league coaches in 2009, intercepting two passes (one that sealed the team’s win against Arizona) and breaking up six others.

His numbers dropped in 2010 (one interception, four pass breakups) before picking up again in another honorable mention all-conference season as a junior (two interceptions, 14 pass breakups). His pick in the end zone in the season opener against Eastern Washington prevented a disastrous home loss for the Huskies.

He will be the third Trufant brother to play professional football.

Marcus has been a regular starter for the Seattle Seahawks since they picked him in the first round out of Washington State in 2003. Isaiah has played with the Jets the past two seasons.

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