David Amerson entered his junior season at N.C. State with a lot of hype. He was expected to be a lockdown corner for the Wolfpack, but things didn't work out the way people had envisioned. Amerson had a horrible game in the season opener against Tennessee, getting burned multiple times in front of a national television audience.
The rest of the season wasn't quite as bad as the first game for Amerson, but it still fell well short of expectations. That didn't stop him from forgoing his senior season in Raleigh, as he declared for the NFL Draft anyway.
Despite giving up some big plays, Amerson finished the 2012 season with 61 tackles and five interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. He's ranked 76th on SB Nation's Top 100 Big Board and ninth among cornerbacks, and is a good bet to come off the board during the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Size: Amerson was a safety in high school, and moved out to corner when he got to N.C. State. According to CBSSports.com's Dane Brugler, the 6'2, 194 pound Amerson has exceptional size for a cornerback
Makeup: Amerson has drawn positive reviews from coaches regarding his competitiveness and will to improve. That kind of mental makeup will be extremely valuable if he's going to bounce back from a disappointing season and contribute at the NFL level.
Here are some of Amerson's highlights from the 2012 season, courtesy of draftbreakdown.com.
According to his NFL.com scouting profile, Amerson lacks elite flexibility and fluidity, especially in his hips. This could allow some receivers to get him twisted up and take advantage. It could ultimately mean a return to safety for him, as well.
Speed: While he's not slow by any stretch, Amerson does not have the speed to keep up with elite NFL receivers on the outside.
Amerson is one of the more interesting prospects in the draft. His play making and ball skills are reminiscent of Asante Samuel. However, unlike Samuel, Amerson isn't nearly as fluid out of his breaks or as technically sound in the fundamentals of the position. Amerisont is tall, physical, and some may project him to free safety because of his size, but it is likely that some team will take a chance on Amerson as a cornerback if he can prove that his foot quickness and fluidity are up to par.
The 2011 Jim Thorpe Award finalist is tall, physical and has receiver-like ball skills, leading the nation with a whopping 13 interceptions in 2011. Some project him to free safety at the next level because of his size, but Amerson's length will tempt scouts looking for a lock-down outside corner. He has enough hip fluidity and short-area agility to be a difference maker in the right system.
Amerson won the Jack Tatum Award as a sophomore in 2011.
Visit cfbstats.com for Amerson's career stats at N.C. State.
2013 NFL Combine performance:
Amerson did a lot to combat notions about his lack of speed, running a 4.44 in the 40-yard dash. He also had a 35.5" vertical and 127" broad jump, proving that he can be explosive. His fluidity and flexibility are still concerns after running through position drills, but there should fewer concerns about Amerson's pure physical ability at this point, especially considering that he weighed in at a stout 6'1", 205 pounds.
Amerson can be found on Twitter @DavidAmerson1. Here's a sample of what you'll find:
Why is this my first time ever watching "for the love of the game" 👍— David Amerson (@DavidAmerson1) March 5, 2013