Prince Amukamara has had an uneven start to his NFL career. A lot was expected of the third-year player when the Giants selected him 19th overall in the 2011 draft. Unfortunately, after two seasons he has only made a name for himself through injuries and a lack of impact plays.
The 24-year-old has missed 12 of a possible 32 regular-season games and has a meager two interceptions and 10 pass defenses in the 20 games he has played in.
Amukamara’s confidence, however, has not been phased by his struggles. In a conversation with Paul Schwartz of the New York Post following minicamp in mid-June, the cornerback disclosed his goals for the upcoming season:
I want to be the No. 1 corner on this team. I feel like right now Corey (Webster) is and my goal is to always just try to beat him out, and I think as soon as I establish myself as the No. 1 corner then hopefully become the No. 1 corner in the whole league.
I know that’s going to take work but I mean, guys that came out of my drafting class are doing great, Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman, those are the guys I kind of compare myself to. I’m just trying to exceed all of them, I guess.
He probably could have just said he wants to get better and stay healthy. Talking about being the best cornerback in the NFL is just going to put unneeded pressure on Amukamara.
The truth is that he is not even close to being the league’s top cornerback. There is nothing glaringly bad about his game, but he also isn’t exceptionally good at anything either. He has a tendency to get beat on inside routes, his press technique can be sloppy, allowing receivers a free release at times, and he is nonchalant when playing off a receiver.
The best thing you can say about him at this point is that he is a solid tackler, especially on short routes and screen passes.
Amukamara certainly has the talent to be elite. He is big cornerback with good speed and fluid hip movement. He just needs to become more aggressive and fine-tune his game.
We’ll see if 2013 is the year he does it.