The Washington Redskins met a pressing need once they finally got on the clock on Friday night, drafting North Carolina State cornerback David Amerson with the 51st overall pick of the NFL Draft.
A 6-foot-1, 205-pound junior, Amerson recorded 61 tackles and five interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) in 2012. He recorded a NCAA-leading 13 interceptions in 2011.
Cornerback was need for the Redskins because although starters DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson return, both are entering the final year of their respective contracts, and last year’s third corner, Cedric Griffin, no longer is with the team.
The team signed free agent E.J. Biggers in free agency, but the former Tampa Bay Buccaneer has only started more than six games in a season once in his four-year career. He, Amerson, second-year pro Richard Crawford and Chase Minnifield, who spent all of his first season on injured reserve, presumably would compete for the third corner position.
Some draft analysts believed that Amerson has the ability to play free safety in the NFL, but he said that the Redskins have only had discussions with him about playing cornerback.
Amerson visited the Redskins on April 10, and after his meeting with Jim Haslett and Raheem Morris believed that he would be a good fit with the Redskins.
“I think they’re both brilliant guys and great coaches and will make me a better player. I’m real excited,” Amerson said. “I know it’s a hard-nosed defense, a lot of good players, a lot of competitors. They just get after it. It’s something I would like to be a part of really.”
Amerson admittedly didn’t have as strong a junior season as he did as a sophomore. He recorded four interceptions in his first seven games during the 2012 season, but also gave up numerous big plays as he said that he gambled and lost on plays.
“Just trying to top off last year. Me being the competitor I am, trying to excel past that. Just trying too hard,” Amerson said. “At the beginning of the season, I was trying to make every play, trying to make everything an interception, trying to just jump every route, and I started sitting on routes, eyes in the backfield and it was more so beating myself more than getting beat by other receivers. It’s something I had to eliminate. It was hurting my team, hurting myself, and then I had to get back to playing the way I know how to play and playing football.”
Amerson said his goal is to get to Redskins Park and dedicate him in the film room and prepare for the challenges of covering NFL receivers.
“I think I’ll have to get a lot more smarter in the game, be dedicated in the film room and be ready for going against big-time receivers week in and week out, going against the best talent,” he said. “It’s more of a mind adjustment more than anything.”
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