Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant was selected 22nd overall by the Atlanta Falcons in Thursday's NFL draft.
Trufant was the first defensive player from Washington selected in the first round since 1992 (Steve Emtman, Dana Hall) after turning in an All-Pac-12 senior season for the revamped Washington defense.
Atlanta head coach Mike Smith said he expected Trufant to come in and compete for a starting spot. He also said one of the crucial things for the Falcons when evaluating Trufant was his familiarity with the NFL thanks to his brothers Marcus and Isaiah already being in the league.
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“It’s who we had focused on all throughout the offseason,” Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff said. “We were very fortunate because it was a very eventful middle of the first round. It was very, very active with a lot of trade discussions.”
The Falcons were desperate for a cornerback and traded up eight spots to get Trufant. Three of their top five corners from last season are gone. Brent Grimes (Miami) and Christopher Owens (Cleveland) left during free agency. Dunta Robinson was released and signed with Kansas City.
Trufant was one of five Pac-12 players taken in the first round Thursday. Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan went third to Miami, Utah's Star Lotulelei went 14th to Carolina, Oregon tackle Kyle Long went 20th to Chicago and UCLA defensive end Datone Jones went 26th to Green Bay.
ALL TIME WASHINGTON HUSKIES DRAFTED IN THE FIRST ROUND:
2013 – Desmond Trufant, DB, 22 overall
2011 – Jake Locker, QB, 8 overall
2004 – Reggie Williams, WR, 9 overall
2002 – Jeramy Stevens, TE, 28 overall
1995 – Napoleon Kaufman, RB, 18 overall; Mark Bruener, TE, 27 overall
1993 – Lincoln Kennedy, OT, 9 overall
1992 – Steve Emtman, DT, 1 overall; Dana Hall, DB, 18 overall
1990 – Bern Brostek, C, 23 overall
1987 – Reggie Rogers, DT, 7 overall
1985 – Ron Holmes, DE, 8 overall
1981 – Curt Mash, OT, 23 overall
1980 – Doug Martin, DT, 9 overall
1978 – Blair Bush, C, 16 overall
1967 – Dave Williams, FL, 16 overall
1952 – Hugh McElhenny, RB, 9 overall
1941 – Rudy Mucha, C, 4 overall; Dean McAdams, B, 8 overall