Asked for his opinion of Amerson, the cornerback Washington selected in the second round out of N.C. State, Shanahan said, “I think Amerson really played well the last couple years. He’s done a great job getting interceptions. He’s a guy that we feel can play in off coverage, he can play in bump coverage. He’s got the speed you look for, he’s got some length, just a guy we felt can fit into our system very well. Very smart player.”
Amerson admitted that he hurt himself at times last season by being too aggressive and trying too hard to make plays. By gambling wrong, he said he blew assignments and wound up hurting his team. He said he hopes Jim Haslett and Raheem Morris can help him correct those habits in the NFL.
Shanahan, meanwhile, said the Redskins aren’t concerned about those shortcomings.
“We’re don’t really worry about that,” the coach said. “We’re going to coach him the way we coach him, to fit into our system, and he’s got the athletic ability to make plays. Any time you’ve got length, you’re in that 4.4 range, you’re in that 6-foot area, you have the ability to play off coverage and bump, we do a lot of different things with our secondary. We think we can give him some opportunities he hasn’t had in the past, and we’re just looking forward to working with him.”
Shanahan said that Amerson has the ability to play nickel back, but that the Redskins’ focus is getting him ready to play on the outside.
With the team passing on a free safety in the second and third rounds, Shanahan was asked if that meant DeAngelo Hall could be moving to free safety. Shanahan didn’t say no, but didn’t say yes either. He did praise Hall’s versatility and said that he has the ability to play cornerback on the outside, play on the inside, play free or strong safety and isn’t afraid to hit, and because of that, and the addition of Amerson and E.J. Biggers, Washington now has better depth and flexibility.
Asked about Reed, Shanahan admitted that the Redskins weren’t really looking for a tight end, but that they remained true to their draft board and went with the best player available.
“We took a look at Reed and he’s got a great ability to make people miss. When he’s got the ball in his hands, he can do things with the ball that is very athletic, something that a lot of tight ends can’t do. We weren’t necessarily looking for a tight end, but when he was there, we couldn’t pass him up.
“He brings a lot of things to our football team that we didn’t have, that we don’t have, and now we get a chance to see what he can do,” the coach later added.
Shanahan compared Reed to Aaron Hernandez of the New England Patriots, but said that Reed, who clocked a 4.7-second 40-yard dash, is faster. The coach likes that Reed can line up at tight end, slot receiver, split out wide and also at H-back. He said that versatility will put pressure on opposing defenses.
Don’t take the addition of Reed as a sign that Niles Paul or Logan Paulsen is the odd man out. Shanahan said that having four tight ends with varying skill sets gives Washington more flexibility and creativity, and that he expects Paul to make strides in his second year at tight end.
More draft coverage from The Post:
The Early Lead: Smith goes to Jets, has Sanchez in his sights
The Early Lead: Te’o goes to Chargers in Round 2
The Early Lead: Honey Badger says Patrick Paterson helped him get to Arizona