Photo of David Amerson
Grade
74.4 ?
  • 4.44 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 15 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 35.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 127.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 6'1" Height
  • 32 5/8" Arm Length
  • 205LBS. Weight
  • 10 1/2" Hands

Overview

The Jack Tatum Award given to the nation’s best defensive back has been awarded to several players who became first round picks since its inception in 1991. But even star cornerbacks like Terrell Buckley, Charles Woodson, and Patrick Peterson and talented safeties such as Roy Williams, the late Sean Taylor, and Eric Berry didn’t match Amerson’s turnover production in 2011.



In 2011, Amerson recorded 13 interceptions, which tied for second-most in NCAA history (Al Worley from Washington set the record with 14 picks in 1968), earning him first-team All-ACC and Walter Camp All-American honors, along with the coveted Jack Tatum award, which is given to the nation’s best defensive back. The team’s Belk Bowl 31-24 win over Louisville was among the four contests in which he intercepted two passes; his 65-yard touchdown after one of those picks in the third quarter turned out to be the difference in the game. This explosion in turnovers came just one year after he started nine games as a true freshman, but had no interceptions and only one pass break-up. However, Amerson’s junior season told a different story. Amerson still recorded five interceptions, and broke up 12 passes, but was beaten for long touchdowns on far too many occasions. His low point of the season was against the University of Miami, in which the Wolfpack lost 44-37. Amerson was beaten for four passing touchdowns, and a fifth touchdown occurred when a receiver ran into his zone.

Analysis

Strengths

Possesses size, physicality and athleticism to be a starting NFL defensive back. Very confident, attacks aggressively down hill, both in jumping routes, and in defending the run. Receiver-like ball skills allow him to high-point passes on jump balls and make quarterbacks pay for trying to fit a ball between levels of zone coverage. Also adjusts well to low and wide throws despite his size. Flashes agility. Will pop receivers to dislodge the ball and running backs coming to his side of the field. Wrap-up tackler, closes quickly to the ball when attacking receivers in off-coverage and against east-west runs. Works through receiver blocks in the run game with strong hands and quickness.

Weaknesses

Some teams will project him to safety unless he proves hip flexibility, agility, and speed in workouts. Backpedal will be tested by quicker receivers eating up his cushion at the next level. Takes time to transition forward from pedal, comes out of his breaks a bit slow. Can be deceived by double moves. Doesn't display run assignment integrity. Plays a lot of off-coverage and zone, needs experience in the man and press coverages in which he should excel given his physical ability.

NFL Comparison

Sean Smith

Bottom Line

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.
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.
NFL News
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