Former NC State and newly minted Washington Redskin CB David Amerson is one of the most fun players to watch on tape from this draft class. He’s a terrifying playmaker and yet an absolute liability simultaneously. Here were Amerson’s career stats at NC State:
Note the ridiculous 13 picks in 2011. That lead the country in 2011, by a lot:
He also has great size, and outstanding measurables:
So how did such a compelling player slip all the way to the Redskins at 51? In a nutshell, he can’t tackle, he doesn’t want to tackle, and he gives up big plays galore when he gambles.
There is a site by the name of draftbreakdown.com. Bookmark it. They cut up literally hundreds and hundreds of videos of NFL prospects every year. Their Amerson library is deep, and I had a chance to review 7 of his games. And it was a joy. Amerson was one of the most fun players to watch, because he is so equally horrible and awesome. It was so much fun, in fact, that I’ll be doing a 3-part series on his game film.
The first two games we’ll do are Boston College and Maryland, both in 2012.
- (0:00) Bubble screen, blocked to the ground.
- (1:05) Tries to jump route, but WR does a good job coming back to the ball, Amerson misses on the pick, WR gets 8 yards after the catch.
- (2:15) Here’s the first in a series of Amerson standing and watching a ball carrier fight for extra yards while his teammates try to bring him down. This is far from the most egregious example of Amerson’s unwillingness to stick his nose into a pile. We’ll see a lot more of this.
- (2:34) Here is a comeback route by BC WR on a noodle-armed throw. Amerson feasts on these. Here it’s just a PBU, but notice Amerson trying to high-point the ball and go for the pick.
- (3:14) INT for TD, although nothing impressive here. Tipped pass lands in his arms and he’s gone. Still, I don’t want to completely dismiss it. Amerson always has his eyes on the ball. It’s what gets him in trouble, but it also allows him to capitalize on “gimme” plays like this.
- (4:51) Run support is not David Amerson’s forte. He’s juked by a much less athletic RB, goes ankle diving, and whiffs.
Save for one outstanding play, Amerson had a brutal day:
- (0:12) Quick screen right at Amerson. Two NC State defenders should have the WR pinned in, but the inside defender (not Amerson) allows the WR to get around him and gives up a big gain. This one isn’t Amerson’s fault, but I’ll note it because Maryland clearly wanted to attack Amerson on quick hitters.
- (0:41) Another quick screen right at Amerson. This time he makes a tackle. However, even when he makes the tackle on these quick hitters, WRs tend to spin and/or fall forward to get an extra 4 or 5 yards. So even when Amerson makes the play, it is typically a positive result for the offense.
- (1:13) PI on Amerson. I don’t have a huge problem with this play. Amerson is attacking the football. He has as much right to the ball as the receiver, but this going to get called more often than not. The announcer on this play criticizes Amerson for not jamming the receiver, but does he know the play call?
- (1:44) Awful. This is an 185 lb Freshman WR and Amerson is diving at his ankles. The WR easily walks out of the tackle and gets at least another 15 yards. Wrap up.
- (2:53) Amerson has an opportunity to lay a big hit on a TE who is vulnerable. Amerson hits him, falls to the ground, and the TE rolls right off of him and would have kept going if the sideline wasn’t right there. Wrap up.
- (3:07) Oof. 3rd and 2, what to do? Another quick screen right at Amerson. Another missed tackle when Amerson goes ankle diving. First down, and the WR gets an additional 20 yards.
- (3:26) BIG PLAY: After a rough day, here’s what makes Amerson such a compelling player. He reads the in route by the receiver, then basically runs the route for the receiver, but better. He gets to the spot first, picks off the pass, and he’s gone. The TD is called back for a block in the back, but clearly, this is what the Redskins see in him – a playmaker who can change the game on one play.
- (4:36) Infuriating. Amerson is a spectator as the running back spins off a few tackles by Amerson’s teammates for a first down. Go hit him.
- (4:46) Ankle diving again on a RB on 3rd and 4. Missed tackle. First down.
- (5:26) Again, almost no effort to stick his nose in the pile and stop a RB from getting a first down on 3rd and short, although at least on this play we get a half-hearted effort as the ball carrier is already going down.
- (5:36) Missed tackle again. WR gets at least another 10 yards.