According to their agents cited by ESPN’s Vaughn McClure, Atlanta Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant and fullback Patrick DiMarco are expected to participate in next week’s Pro Bowl, joining running back Devonta Freeman and wide receiver Julio Jones. That is due to the expectations that several players at their respective positions on the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers will bow out of the contest due to playing in Super Bowl 50 a week later. The Broncos had two cornerbacks in Aqib Talib and Chris Harris voted to the Pro Bowl in December, while the Panthers sent cornerback Josh Norman and fullback Mike Tolbert. Both Trufant and DiMarco were named alternates at the time and will be making their Pro Bowl debuts.
Trufant finally earns recognition for an excellent start to his career, playing some of his best football in 2015 despite recording a career-low with one interception and 11 pass breakups. Trufant was the least targeted cornerback in the NFL and one of the more fearsome cornerbacks in recent memory based off Pro Football Focus metrics at how often he was targeted this past season. Trufant highlighted one of the stingiest pass defenses in the league in 2015, with the Falcons ranking in the top 10 in touchdowns allowed and big plays allowed.
DiMarco was named to the Associated Press’ All-Pro team earlier this month, continuing his distinctive 2015 season with more honors now that he can add the Pro Bowl to his belt. Pro Football Focus gave him their highest grades at the fullback position thanks to his ability to clear holes for Freeman, who rushed for 1,056 yards on the ground this past year. DiMarco started eight games this year and produced career-highs with 13 receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns.