Desmond Trufant's draft buzz growing

With the NFL draft exactly one month away, the buzz is starting to heat up around several Pac-12 players -- including Washington defensive back Desmond Trufant.

The San Diego Chargers website is counting down potential draft picks each day leading up to the draft -- and Trufant might be on the Bolts' wish list, writes Ricky Henne, managing editor of Chargers.com.

Trufant already established himself as one of the premier athletes in the draft with his strong showing at the NFL scouting combine -- posting high marks in the 40-yard dash, bench press and 20-yard shuttle.

But it might be his instincts and football IQ that are attractive to the Chargers, who draft 11th overall.

Writes Henne:

According to some scouts, his best asset may be his pure football intelligence. Some players have a knack for diagramming plays and possessing natural instincts, and Trufant is such a player. He’s able to play zone, man or press coverage, and that flexibility is a major asset. Throw in a strong build (6-foot-0, 190-pounds) and elite speed and you get a player who has made a strong impression on NFL decision makers.

... Still, Trufant’s versatility and impressive overall skill set have him poised to be an early selection as one of the best cornerback prospects available this season.

In his most updated top-five player rankings, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. rates Trufant as the No. 2 cornerback in the draft behind Alabama's Dee Milliner.

A top-15 pick might seem a bit high for Trufant -- especially since he didn't start catching more buzz until after the combine. In their most recent mock drafts, both Kiper and Todd McShay have Trufant as a first-round pick. In his most recent Top 32, released last week, McShay projects Trufant as the No. 22 player -- up from No. 32.

Writes McShay:

We always liked Trufant's game. He does just about everything well, though his ball skills could be a little more consistent. His tape didn't indicate elite speed, but he was good enough at the combine. His combination of speed and arm length is impressive. Trufant has good size, and in a league starved for good cover guys, his production could move him into the first round.

Kiper has him at No. 28 to the Denver Broncos.