Josh Norman, Malcolm Butler and Richard Sherman were all named to the 2016 Pro Bowl in Honolulu, and all deservedly so, but as impressive as their respective seasons were, no member of that trio recorded as many passes defensed as Raiders cornerback David Amerson during the 2015 season.
Amerson tallied an impressive 27 passes defensed, just one behind league leader Marcus Peters, but his production becomes all the more impressive when you realize that Amerson suited up in only 14 games for the Raiders and joined the team in late-September.
Let that sink in: Amerson didn't go through the offseason program, training camp or even start the regular season with the Silver and Black, instead he went through that process with the Washington Redskins before he was waived by that team after their Week 2 game against the St. Louis Rams.
However, the North Carolina State-product wasn't a man without a team for long, as General Manager Reggie McKenzie and the Raiders claimed him September 22, just days before their Week 3 road trip to take on the Cleveland Browns.
Amerson stepped into the Raiders' defense and seemingly didn't miss a beat in the process.
In his first game as a Raider, he played nearly half of the team's defensive snaps, and from there his productivity and involvement in the game plan increased, as he eventually became one of the Raiders' starting cornerbacks prior to the team's Week 12 showdown with the Tennessee Titans.
Amerson made the most of his of his opportunity and then some, recording his second interception as a Raider and a career-high six passes defensed against the Titans, which according to STATS, LLC. served as a Raiders single-game record.
"I was just coming in here and playing my game," said Amerson after his record-setting performance. "I am always dedicated to preparation. I kind of knew what they wanted to do to us and I kind of knew what was coming. It showed on the field."
Photo highlights of the blossoming cornerback, David Amerson, from the 2015-2016 season.
He continued, "I got released from Washington, and I felt like I had something to prove. I definitely feel like I am a good corner in this league and I just want to prove that."
The rangy cornerback more than proved that, as an argument could be made that he was not only the best waiver claim in the NFL this season, but one of the better cornerbacks in the league, as Pro Football Focus ranked him the 15th cornerback in the NFL and also named him their "Most Improved Player," for the season.
Throughout the season, Amerson proved to be the Raiders best player in man-to-man coverage, and the more time he spent with the team, the more comfortable he became with his role.
That comfort level certainly translated to production on the field as he finished the season with 62 total tackles, four interceptions and the aforementioned 25 passes defensed.
"I wanted to prove myself and make a name for myself, and make a statement for this organization and for me personally," Amerson said during the team's final media availability of the season. "I always had confidence in myself. With everything that happened in Washington, I just knew once I got another chance, I just knew I had to turn it up a notch and take it to the next level. Like I said, I was just blessed this year."