Breaking down skills, weak points of top picks
Scouting reports are adapted from John Keim's Redskins Confidential report after watching multiple games of each of Washington's draft picks. Today: Second-round pick David Amerson, a corner from North Carolina State, and third-round pick Jordan Reed, a tight end from Florida.
Position » Corner
College » North Carolina State
Draft pick » 51 (Second round)
Height » 6-foot-1
Weight » 205 pounds
Amerson has the measurables, and as one longtime general manager told me before the draft, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan likes to draft off measurables. But Amerson also has production, with 18 interceptions in two years. So it's not as though the Redskins drafted him solely based on what he did at the scouting combine or at his Pro Day. As numerous people have told me over the years, Shanahan goes a lot off the flash plays. Amerson had plenty, and watching his games again, some plays definitely catch your eye. A lot. This guy wants to get the ball. He's like a scorer in basketball who just wants to score. Now he must improve other aspects of his game (discipline, tackling). If he develops, Amerson could become a very good player. But he has to develop.
Amerson bit on too many double moves as a senior -- was it selfishness, stemming from wanting the big play? Or was it a lack of discipline? It can be corrected, but with work. His tackling was an issue, though his college coaches say it won't be a problem. But his run support was lacking; he wasn't asked to do it a whole lot -- in his mind, he was a cover corner first and foremost. Still, he wasn't the most physical corner in college.
Position » Tight end
College » Florida
Draft pick » 85 (Third round)
Height » 6-foot-2
Weight » 236 pounds
If Fred Davis leaves after this season, don't expect Reed to take over his role. Not for a few years, anyhow. He's an athletic player who can be a mismatch for defenses, but it'll take several seasons to turn him into an effective blocker, especially along the line. At times, it appears he struggles because perhaps he needs to get stronger; other times, it's a matter of technique, something the Redskins can work on. One of their smarter coaches happens to be tight ends coach Sean McVay. For now, Reed will do more blocking on the move, which the Redskins need in this offense. Sometimes in this offense, all a blocker must do is obstruct to be effective.
But if Reed can play, linebackers could have a tough time matching up with him out of the backfield. He runs well after the catch, looking like a receiver when he starts running. He ran well in traffic against South Carolina, and in every game watched, he more often than not made the first defender miss after the catch. I saw him make a couple leaping or twisted grabs. I also saw him run good wheel routes against linebackers.