Are the Washington Redskins Making a Mistake Playing Amerson at Cornerback?

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Are the Washington Redskins Making a Mistake Playing Amerson at Cornerback?
Nick Wass/Getty Images
Amerson will play corner for Washington, although many see him as a safety.

Many fans in Washington rejoiced when the Redskins drafted CB David Amerson with the 51st overall pick, and for good reason. 

Amerson is an impact player that will surely change the way the Redskins play defense. His size and ability make him a playmaker along the sideline for Washington. 

The question isn’t whether or not Amerson will make a difference on Washington’s defense, but where? 

While he played the majority of his time in college as a corner, many believe Amerson’s body type and ball skills make him a prime safety prospect. 

He has all the tools necessary to play both positions, but where would he fit best?

 

 

Safety Skills

First and foremost, Amerson is a football player. He is tremendous when the ball is in the air and has great skills as a hitter. He can play all over most defensive schemes. 

The are a couple of important reasons why Amerson should play safety. 

The biggest of these reasons is that he doesn’t have the natural mobility you’d like in a corner. He has tight hips at times when he’s playing man-to-man, and gets burned a little too easily by receivers with elite speed. Playing safety would allow him to essentially use his free will when it comes to making plays. 

Another reason why he would be a good safety is simply because he loves making big hits—which, granted, is sometimes a bad thing. He sometimes gets too caught up trying to make a highlight-reel hit and ends up looking like an aggressive fool. 

Nick Wass/Getty Images
Amerson during rookie minicamp.

 

 

Corner Skills

Amerson may not have the natural mobility of a corner, but he is excellent as a coverage guy. 

As I mentioned before, he has great ball skills and can read the quarterback’s eyes pretty well. He also doesn’t get lost in coverage, although he does get blasted by speedsters at times.

It’s not often that he bites on double moves and he is great with his coverage assignments. Amerson’s backpedal is as smooth as they come, and his instincts are top-notch. 

He’s lanky enough to play aggressively when it comes to swatting the ball out of the air and going for the interception. 

One thing is for sure, Amerson can play some damn good football. 

When you look at him, he is probably better suited as a safety. He has the size, physicality and ball skills necessary to become an awesome defender on the back end of Washington’s defense. While this is probably where he fits best, this is not where he will play in 2013. 

Aside from Amerson, the Redskins drafted two other defensive backs in Bacarri Rambo and Phillip Thomas; both are safeties. Neither Rambo nor Thomas can play the corner position as well as Amerson, yet Amerson measures up pretty well when it comes to safety skills. 

The Redskins are doing the right thing by keeping Amerson a corner, for many reasons. He will be a great option as a number two corner across from Josh Wilson, which will allow incumbent starter DeAngelo Hall to either play the slot or possibly even move to safety. 

Amerson really has the potential to develop into a number one corner within the next few years. Washington desperately needed a physical corner, and they got it. 

Besides, both safety positions are pretty much covered between Thomas, Rambo and Brandon Meriweather, so Amerson will fill a larger need at corner than he would at safety. 

What’s great about Amerson is that you don’t lose either way; either he’s a solid number two corner or your starting safety right away. Expect Jim Haslett to have some fun with his new toy, probably moving him all over the defense, but his main position will be corner. 

Washington could use more guys like this.

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