Picked up via a waiver claim by Oakland in Week 3 of the 2015 NFL season, ex-Washington Redskin David Amerson found a new lease of life with the Raiders and went on to have his most productive season since entering the league.
But could he be set to make himself a household name in the NFL this upcoming season?
Early NFL Struggles
Selected in the 2nd round of the 2013 Draft, Amerson played all but one game during his time with the Redskins.The cornerback struggled to produce the form that many would have expected from an early round pick however; recording two interceptions and one forced fumble in 33 games.
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He was cut by the Redskins in September 2015, just two games into the regular season. Head Coach Jay Gruden said of Amerson's potential at the time he was cut:
"Who's to say that he won't, he might be a great player somewhere else in the next year or so. His career is not over by a long shot. He's going to go somewhere else and play and probably play well."
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2015's "Most Improved Player"
Amerson was quickly snapped up by the Raiders and was immediately thrown into first team responsibilities. The 24-year-old responded, and promptly delivered his most productive season to date.
Despite being targeted over 100 times by opposing quarterbacks last season (enough to be the sixth most targeted cornerback in the entire league) Amerson allowed just 58 completed passes and only one touchdown conceded.
Add to that a career high in both tackles (60) and interceptions (4), and the ex-North Carolina State star ended up being listed in the top 25 of Pro Football Focus' cornerback rankings for the season, and was named as their "Most Improved Player of 2015."
More To Come...
With a full off-season with the Raiders ahead of him to prepare for next year, the future certainly looks bright for the Hawaii native.
Whilst the recent retirement of team legend Charles Woodson is not good news for a Raiders defense already sorely lacking quality options, the opening for a new name to lead the defensive secondary may just prove to be the motivation needed for Amerson to really shine next season and become a household name in the NFL.
Watch this space...
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