Player: David Amerson
College: NC State
Scouting report: Talent evaluators say Amerson possesses the size, athleticism, physicality to become a productive NFL cornerback. One attribute, however, stands out above the others: He’s a ball hawk.
The Greensboro, N.C., native burst onto the national scene in 2011 when he snagged a college football best 13 interceptions, which fell one short of the FBS single-season record. As a junior, though, Amerson was beat on a handful of long passes and his confidence slumped as a result. He finished with five picks in 2012.
Although some teams have projected Amerson as a safety, he said he's been informed by the Redskins that he’ll play cornerback.
Two weeks ago, the Redskins hosted Amerson on a visit, during which he watched film with defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and secondary coach Raheem Morris.
The selection marks the earliest the Redskins have taken a defensive back since 2005, when Carlos Rogers was the team’s ninth overall pick.
Current depth chart: Josh Wilson, DeAngelo Hall, E.J. Biggers, Richard Crawford, Jerome Murphy, Chase Minnifield.
Where he fits: The Redskins enter the 2013season with three veteran cornerbacks who are expected to receive the bulk of the playing time in Wilson, Hall and Biggers. Amerson, though, could play his way into a significant role and almost certainly will be counted on to start in 2014. Wilson, Hall and Biggers will all be unrestricted free agents after the season.
What Shanahan said: “Well, it has to do with how talented you are,” the coach said, asked if a defensive back could start right away. “I’ve seen a lot of young players, especially defensive backs, come in and start in the NFL. A lot of it has to do with their awareness, how sharp they are, relative to their football-related intelligence.”
What Amerson said: “I was trying to make every play, make every interception, trying to jump every route,” he said about the drop off in his interception total from his sophomore season to his junior year. “I started sitting on routes, eyes in the backfield. So it was a lot of beating myself more than getting beat by receivers. That’ something I had to eliminate.”