In 2012, Peanut Tillman forced 10 fumbles, which tied him with Osi Umenyiora for the most forced fumbles in one season since it became an official statistic. It is beyond remarkable that he did it as a cornerback in a league where most corners hate contact. Look at the list below of every player in the last 20+ years who have forced at least 8 fumbles. Former teammate Chris Harris aside, they’re all defensive lineman and/or pass rushers who had the benefit of swiping the ball out of unsuspecting QB’s hands:
Meanwhile, on the other side, Tim Jennings led the NFL in interceptions:
By comparison, Jennings (9) had more interceptions than the Eagles (8), Chiefs (7) and Cowboys (7).
So why draft a corner?
Because Peanut Tillman is 32 and Tim Jennings will be 30 in December. Both are eligible to become free agents after the 2013 season, and the Bears have weak depth at CB.
Desmond Trufant was one of my favorite players to watch at the Senior Bowl this year. He was nonstop chatter, and just exuded confidence. Even when he was beaten, he refused to admit it. There was one play where a receiver juked him pretty badly on an out route, but the QB didn’t get the ball out quickly. That gave Trufant the extra time he needed to recover and get a pass breakup. Clearly he was beaten on the play, and the receiver let him know it, but Desmond just repeatedly yelled “That’s recovery! That’s recovery!”
Trufant has decent size at 6’0, 190, and he ran an impressive 4.38 40 at the Combine. In the short term, he can be the Bears’ nickle back, and depending on the future of Tillman and Jennings in Chicago, Trufant would likely move into a full-time starting role in 2014. Great measurables, outstanding competitor.