Hello Giants fans! I hope everyone's doing well. Before we get started with this film study I'd like to thank jensvoigt for the idea of a player comparison, and I hope he doesn't mind me borrowing from him! Now as for the two players I'm comparing, it's a battle of second round steals in my opinion. Both David Amerson and Jordan Poyer have been on my radar for a while now, and after his Junior season at NC State I predicted that Amerson would be a Top 5 pick in this years draft. Now while Amerson had a down year his Senior season, I made that prediction after he came off a 13 interception season. Both of these guys are Corner Backs that I would love to have on the Giants, and if they are both off the boards before we pick in the second I wouldn't be surprised at all.
Jordan Poyer, former MLB (baseball) prospect and Oregon State CB
David Amerson, Wolfpack CB
Tale of the Tape: Measurements
Amerson: 6'1, 205
Poyer: 6'0, 191
3 Cone Drill
When looking at the initial measurements of both players, I'm usually more inclined towards Amerson. He only has an inch more in height, but offers about 10-12 more pounds of weight than Poyer, which is something the Giants prefer when it comes to their CB's. I also like Amerson's vertical, which allows him to go up and win a lot of jump balls against bigger receivers. Poyer doesn't lag far behind in any category other than the vertical though, and I think that while Amerson has a faster 40, Poyer has the more fluid hips, which when it comes to coverage and turning around to chase a receiver downfield, it makes their speed about even.
We'll start with Amerson, who coming off a 13 interception season and a Jack Tatum award was really a disappointment. He had 5 interceptions and 12 passes defended, but that doesn't tell the whole story. The real story is Amerson was burned a lot last year. There were a lot of moments where he'd bite on the short route and have a Wide Receiver blow right by him for the Touchdown. Many say that the cause of this was he was eager to match his stunning Junior year, and I think there is weight to that argument. Amerson could have easily been feeling the pressure to preform up to his previous years stats, and it could have caused him to gamble a lot more than he should have. He was very much like Asante Samuel in his last year with the Wolfpack, often jumping a route and trying to make a big play. Sometimes it worked, but sometimes he got burned. If this can be coached out of him and he's more patient at the next level, his production could be sky high. With that being said, I still think Amerson doesn't have the most fluid hips in the world, and that sometimes leads to him being slow to flip his hips out of his backpedal and chasing receivers downfield for the long ball. That's something you'll probably notice in the film.
Poyer on the other hand was the more improved player during the 2012 football season. He had seven interceptions as opposed to the four from his previous season, and he also swatted down an additional seven as well. He was also a successful Special Teams player, returning both punts and kicks for the Beavers. He was nominated to the AP All-American first team and most importantly has shown solid improvements with each additional year that he plays. His consistency combined with his athleticism makes him an intriguing prospect, especially for the DB-hungry Giants.
For Corner Backs there isn't really much you can look for pre-snap. The first thing you will notice is how far off the ball they are playing. One thing that goes in Amerson's favor is the NC State DC is apparently related to Perry Fewell, because he constantly has Amerson (and his other Corners) playing five to eight yards off the ball in either a zone or off-man coverage. He can play man, but I like him better in the zone despite the label he has as a "big" Corner. While Poyer also plays zone, I don't think the defensive scheme he comes from is as similar to the Giants as what Amerson's was last year.
If we're discussing what we need out of a Tampa 2 Corner though, we're talking about strict zone responsibility. In the Tampa 2 the Corner is usually responsible for about a quarter of the field, ranging from protecting the sideline to just outside of where the OLB's are lined up. The Corner usually lines up with his outside foot pointed towards the Receiver's inside foot, giving him better position to protect his sideline. Here's a view of the average Tampa 2 coverage responsibilities.
Just a refresher, notice how the MIKE has to have responsibility of a ton of territory, including BOTH seams. I discussed this when talking about Ogletree, and this visual should help explain why our MIKE's need to be athletic and able to cover. That is unless we are going to shift our package on 3rd downs and put a 3rd Safety in, but I digress.
Post snap Corner Backs need to be able to read both the Receiver and the Quarterback well. If the Corner is playing man he needs to watch his Receiver, not get beat by any cuts in a route, and definitely never let the Receiver get behind him. If that Corner is playing zone he needs to backpedal into his zone and protect his area. If anyone comes into his area, the Corner must cover that Receiver until the ball is thrown or the Receiver leaves his zone. It's also pivotal that the Corner knows where his Safety help over the top is during the play.
We'll start off with David Amerson and his film against Boston College
0:00 - 0:11: Amerson seems to be playing an off man due to how he reacts and comes up towards the Receiver instead of dropping back into a zone. Gets caught up in a block and isn't able to make the tackle.
0:12 - 0:21: Drops back into zone coverage here, but the play goes underneath as a screen and is incomplete.
0:22 - 0:29: Zone again, but comes up when the receiver commits to the short route. Ball is bobbled and incomplete.
0:30 - 0:50: Amerson backpedals smoothly here and covers his third of the field, QB rolls out and takes advantage of another spot in the defense.
0:51 - 1:02: Another smooth backpedal and Amerson once again defends his zone, incomplete.
1:03 - 1:23: First completion allowed by Amerson. He is playing man but overruns the route. Amerson comes back to the ball and almost knocks it out, but it's a solid catch.Amerson runs him down and makes a tackle.
1:24 - 1:32: Starts out near the box on this play, then drops back and covers his flat/zone. The RB dips into the flat looking to be a checkdown option, but Amerson eliminates him and forces an incomplete pass.
1:33 - 1:55: Amerson starts waaaay off the ball on this one, playing a (way) off man and covering the post pattern that the Receiver runs. Almost seems to let the Receiver get out in front of him, but also seems to know he has Safety help over the top. Bishop reads the QB and comes up to make the interception.
1:56 - 2:12: Another off man it seems to me, covering the post pattern once again. Amerson sticks pretty close into the receiver's hip pocket and ends up deflecting it because the ball is thrown behind the receiver.
2:13 - 2:22: Begins to backpedal into his zone despite no receivers being on his side of the field, checks to make sure it's not Play Action, and then comes up for run support. Really doesn't do much here, but shows that he knows what his order of responsibilities are.
2:23 - 2:32: This play is harder to see. I don't think it's Cover 2, but it's not really man either. State sends a DB in on a blitz and Amerson plays his deeper zone. The ball is incomplete and Amerson doesn't seem responsible for the receiver that almost catches it.
2:33 - 2:50: Very nice play by Amerson here. Doesn't get beat by the receiver's comeback route and stays glued to him. Shows a good shift going from his backpedal to coming up with the receiver's route. Makes a play on the ball and breaks up the pass.
2:51 - 3:02: Odd play here. Amerson is lined up so far off the ball he's not on screen. Has a man going down the sideline though as the QB just throws it away. I'd grade it as a good play.
3:03 - 3:13: Amerson covers his receiver, who is running a designed fake route to block downfield for his QB. Amerson doesn't really seem to get through his block to make the play as the QB gets downfield.
3:14 - 3:45: Interception time. This one is almost too easy. Amerson plays his zone well, initially covering the outside receiver but passing him off to another DB and getting back to his zone. A receiver comes across the field towards Amerson, dragging another DB along with him. The ball is tipped right into Amerson's hands, and he takes it in for the Touchdown. Should probably carry the ball like his name isn't Hakeem Nicks, but oh well.
3:46 - 3:58: I believe Amerson is playing man here, allowing the receiver to catch the ball on a small bubble screen but does a very nice job of wrapping up and making the tackle for a limited amount of yardage.
3:59 - 4:08: Uh......the punter punts it and Amerson is close enough to the returner to make him fair catch. Woo.
4:09 - 4:27: Not a great play here, Amerson gets beat over the top by the receiver, just enough to where he could have made the catch. Maybe Amerson was expecting Safety help, which did come but a bit flat and a little late. Either way, he could have been in the receivers pocket a bit more than what he was.
4:28 - 4:38: Not much going on here as the blitzer gets a piece of the QB and forces it to go way out of bounds.
4:39 - 4:49: Amerson starts off about 10 yards off the ball, but he lets his cushion get eaten up and allows the receiver to run a comeback route and get the first down. Needs better closing speed on that play.
4:50 - 5:00: Ugh, Amerson diagnoses the run play but seems to come too far inside and whiffs on the tackle. Just ugly right there.
5:01 - 5:10: Amerson is once again close to 10 yards off the ball, but the comeback route is five yards this time and he closes in to make the tackle immediately.
5:11 - 5:20: Seems to be playing man, because he comes too far in to be of any help when the RB breaks it to the outside.
5:21 - 5:33: Man coverage here, Amerson stays stride for stride with his receiver and the ball is overthrown by a good margin.
And now here's Jordan Poyer against Texas.
0:00 - 0:07: Starts to backpedal, but Poyer quickly recognizes the screen here and engages the receiver, pushing him backwards and helping drag down the ball carrier near the LOS.
0:08 - 0:19: Poyer is playing the inside here, and does a good job keeping his eye on the underneath route. Unfortunately he misses on the tackle.
0:20 - 0:31: Playing man against the trips here, Poyer recognizes it's a run to the D's left and does an awesome job not letting the pull guard get his hands on him. Is able to slip by and make the tackle
0:32 - 0:41: Plays man coverage on the inside receiver and does a good job sticking in his hip pocket on the crossing route. QB goes elsewhere with the ball.
0:42 - 1:11: Poyer is on the opposite side of the field when the reverse happens. You can see on the replay that Poyer takes his angle to where he thinks the runner will be, but it's a bit too flat and he gets held up by the receiver that's blocking him. Also, it's hard to take a good angle against Marquise Goodwin.
1:12 - 1:20: A run play to the D's left here, Poyer does a good job of not getting blocked by the pull. If the play wasn't dragged down early he would have been in position to make the tackle.
1:21 - 1:34: A nice punt return here by Poyer, follows his blocks and picks up some good yardage.
1:35 - 1:47: First time we really see Poyer get turned around by a route. His hips go one way but his head goes another. The ball is completed to the man Poyer was covering.
1:48 - 1:58: Poyer does a good job as a gunner here, downing the ball inside of the Longhorn's 10 yard line. Nice speed here.
1:59 - 2:07: We see Poyer get held up by a block here, can't really get off of it to go make a play on the ball carrier.
2:08 - 2:18: Poyer recognizes the swing pass once again and does a decent job of getting off his block. Makes the tackle a bit too far downfield though.
2:19 - 2:27: Another swing pass that draws Poyer up out of his zone coverage. Once again gets tripped up by the blocking.
2:28 - 2:40: Poyer decides to break on the ball too late here, and the receiver is already far enough past him to make the catch.
2:41 - 2:54: Man coverage with no jam off the line here, and I'm of the opinion he could have used one. Poyer gets beat here, and a little more touch on that ball makes it a Touchdown. Granted Poyer didn't get burned, and he was close enough to where if it was under thrown he might be able to make a play, but he still needs to get in the guys pocket more.
2:55 - 3:05: A good, smooth backpedal from Poyer here, combined with solid closing speed. Almost closes in on it fast enough to make a play on the ball, but just misses the opportunity. Instead he wraps up and makes a solid tackle.
3:06 - 3:14: Poyer comes off the edge on a CB blitz here, but doesn't get much pressure as the RB does a good job with his blocking assignments.
3:15 - 3:22: I can't fault this play too much on Poyer. He notices his receiver is kind of just standing there doing nothing (terrible job by the receiver on this play though, either flat out block or sell a route dang it!) and recognizes it's probably a run, so he stays to the outside as he should. Once he realizes the QB has it and is going up the middle, it's just a second too late.
3:23 - 3:32: Poyer is playing off in coverage here, but ends up coming back to help clean up the run play.
3:33 - 3:45: Does a good job in coverage here, and the QB goes elsewhere with the ball. Poyer then takes a good angle across field to take out the receiver, but he's dragged down before Poyer can make the tackle.
3:46 - 3:59: Awesome heads up play by Poyer here. Nobody in his zone, so he notices the QB start to roll out and comes flying up to get a sack. Very nice play here, and a good display of straight line speed.
4:00 - 4:12: Hard to see Poyer here, but he apparently does a good job in coverage as the QB has to throw to his check-down option. Poyer comes up to help make the tackle.
4:13 - 4:28: Another good play for Poyer here, as the RB comes out in the flats Poyer reads the short throw and really pops the receiver hard. This forces an incomplete pass, good play.
4:29 - 4:35: Poyer comes off the edge on a blitz here and gets tangled up by the RB.
4:36 - 4:46: Poyer shifts over with the motion on this play, and is in the middle of the field when the ball is snapped. Kind of helps with the run play, but not really.
4:47 - 4:55: Good attempt to stop the run, but gets caught up in the wash more or less.
In the end, both of these guys can play football very well, but the real question is "who's the better fit?". It's a tough debate, and it's all about risk versus reward for me. With Amerson, you have a high risk player. He makes huge, momentum shifting plays over the course of the year, but he also has a bunch of moments where the receiver gets behind him and makes a massive play on Amerson. If you're willing to roll the dice and hope that Amerson can be more patient with his coverages next year, then he's the player you'd want to pick. Poyer on the other hand, has shown consistency and slight improvements with every advancement of his career. Poyer will never be a 13 interception guy, but I'd compare him to Corey Webster before Corey went on his down slide. Very, very solid and doesn't get beat often, but isn't known for flashy plays that make you "ooh" and "ah". If I'm the GM of the Giants and I absolutely have to pick between these two guys, my gut tells me Amerson. But at the same time Poyer is a hair behind him. If either of these guys end up on the Giants I would be ecstatic. What do you think Giants fans? Who is your preference?
By the way, suggestions on other players to do profiles on would be appreciated. I think I already have a guy in mind for my next one, but I could work on two at the same time.