Because they sold the farm to move up to take Robert Griffin III in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins did not have a pick until No. 51 overall this year. They used that selection on North Carolina State's David Amerson.
Even with the free-agent signing of cornerback E.J. Biggers and the return of veteran DeAngelo Hall, the Redskins were thin in the defensive backfield before this pick. Amerson delivered a staggering 12 interceptions in 2011 and had another five last season, so his ball-hawking skills should be a welcome addition for Washington.
He is, however, a bit of a gamble in Round 2, especially with the more-polished Jamar Taylor coming off the board just four picks later. Amerson has enviable speed (4.44 40 at the combine), but he had some really poor stretches in coverage for N.C. State and rarely played up tight on receivers.
The Redskins may be able to cover up some of those warts with the rest of their secondary, using Amerson against slot receivers or in specific packages early on as he figures out the NFL game.
The wild card here is that some project Amerson to be a better free safety than a cornerback at the next level -- with the ability to find the football and go get it being the natural selling point on that idea. And safety might be the Redskins' biggest need right now, with the underwhelming duo of Brandon Meriweather and Reed Doughty penciled in as starters. This could be a wait-and-see proposition for Amerson in Washington, but he ought to get some playing time from Week 1.