In the coming weeks, Redskins reporter Tarik El-Bashir will examine five candidates to break out in 2014. Today, we’re looking at cornerback David Amerson.
2013 stats: 48 tackles, 12 defended passes, 2 interceptions, 1 touchdown
Contract status: Signed through 2016
2013 in review: Amerson appeared in all 16 games as the Redskins’ No. 3 cornerback.
Like most rookies learning one of the game’s most complex positions on the fly, he experienced his share of growing pains. As the season progressed, though, the number of blown coverages and missed tackles became fewer and further between. In fact, after missing six tackles in the first eight games, according to ProFootballFocus.com, Amerson missed only one the rest of the season as he made an effort to be more physical.
The NC State product also showed the ball-hawking skills that made him a second round pick. In addition to getting his hands on a half-dozen balls, he intercepted one against the Raiders and another against the Chargers. He took the interception in Oakland back 45 yards for a touchdown to help turn the momentum in favor of the Redskins, who went on to win, 24-14.
Amerson’s stats, meantime, compared favorably to his peers’. He finished the season tied for seventh in interceptions among rookies, was one of four to take one back for a score and ranked sixth in passes defended (12).
2014 Outlook: Amerson has good size (6 foot 1, 205-pounds) and speed, ideal length and, as he told CSNWashington.com late last season, he's learning how to prepare more effectively in the classroom.
Indeed, Amerson possesses all the tools to become a standout. He also plays the game with the swagger of a playmaker.
His next challenge will be pulling it all together.
As a second rounder, Amerson will be expected to move into the starting lineup sooner rather than later. How soon? It could be this season if the Redskins don't re-sign Josh Wilson and decide against adding a veteran in free agency.
If that happens, Amerson's playing time and responsibilities would grow exponentially. He would also have more chances to get his hands on the ball. And given how often he got his hands on it in 2013, it wouldn't be too much to expect his INT total to grow exponentially, as well. Five would be a nice number. Last season, in fact, it would have put him among the top-10 in the NFL.