CB David Amerson- N.C. State
Summary: It is unfortunate that Amerson had to stick around a declining N.C. State team for the 2012 season. In his sophomore year, he had an ACC record 13 interceptions, which is also second in NCAA history, and was a consensus top 10 pick. The 6-1 cornerback was an Ed Reed ball hawk with Darelle Revis instincts, or at least it seemed that way. 2012 was a different year for him. He became lazy in coverage, often relying too much on physical skill. He was often beaten by a double move, and in two consecutive games he allowed touchdowns of over 50 yards on basically the same play. His confidence regressed and ended the season with only five interceptions (which is still quite a bit for a cornerback in college.) Whether or not he should have stayed for his senior year is irrelevant to Amerson because his problem is not lack of understanding or skill, it is clearly motivation. It was obvious, both off and on the field, that Amerson felt like the big man on campus, even when he was torched. Considering the abysmal play of the defensive unit (especially in the bowl game against Vandy), maybe he was justified. After all, he did have some great games last season (UConn, FSU, Wake.) And just a year ago, he was picking off passes and shutting down big name wideouts. He also proved that he can come up big when it matters- in 2012, he had an MVP type game in the Belk bowl picking off two passes, returning one for a touchdown. The point is: this guy can return to greatness. Don’t believe me? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4aTUvkrnDI
NFL Translation: I think Amerson could start tomorrow as a safety. He is not as “fast” as other corners but has all the intangibles to be an NFL starter. I think, with an offseason, he could be a great corner. There are a lot of corners who are bigger coverage guys. What Amerson has is more important than speed, and that is acceleration. When he sees the ball in the air, he finds it. What he needs is a defensive coordinator and/or head coach that won’t put up with laziness. He also probably needs good safety help in case he does get beat (which he was quite a bit in 2012.)
NFL comparison: Antonio Cromartie
Cromartie is a big corner, like Amerson, both of which are better as a second corner rather than a first. Cromartie matches up with the bigger wideout and he has the ball skills that Cromartie has. Amerson can be better than Cromartie, as Cromartie has only been to two pro bowls and is more famous for his off the field interviews than his on the field play. But they play similarly.
Dream Team: Carolina Panthers
The Panthers are in dire need of a corner since Chris Gamble retired. They resigned Captain Munnerlyn which makes no sense since 1) they benched him after a miserable start to the season and 2) he signed a one year deal so if he reaches his potential, they will have to deal with a lot of cap drama next year. They signed underachiever CB D.J. Moore to a one year deal, who is nothing more than a 4th corner and 32 year old CB Drayton Florence who is now with his 5th different NFL team and has a few more mediocre years left in his take. Needless to say, the Panthers secondary leaves a lot to be desired. That is why Amerson makes sense. With veteran presence, a strong head coach in Ron Riversa, and the potential to be a starter in his rookie year, Amerson could transform this secondary if he reaches his true potential. This is especially a good move considering the Panthers signed safety Michael Mitchell in free agency this season who could help Amerson if he is beat deep. Considering the fact that the Panthers need a corner anyway, he is worth a 2nd rounder.