Following a stellar sophomore season at N.C. State, David Amerson was considered a first-round talent. But a less-than-impressive junior campaign saw his draft stock slip, and he didn't hear his name called until Round 2, where the Redskins selected him with the 51st-overall pick.

Amerson was a disappointment in two-plus seasons in Washington, where he appeared in 23 games, including 15 during the 2014 season. The team released him two weeks into 2015, and a once-promising career was suddently headed in the wrong direction. But Amerson was claimed off waivers by the Raiders, where everything came together. When it was over, he had started 12 games, grabbed 4 interceptions and had 25 passes defended. For some perspective, Amerson had just two picks and 18 passes defended during his time with the Redskins.

It was enough to convince the Raiders to sign Amerson to a contract extension worth $38 million. So what changed for the 24-year-old cornerback?

"It wasn't really rocket science, to be honest with you. Once I got here, I matured," Amerson said Tuesday in a conference call, according's Scott Bair. "I came in the league and I was 21 years old. Not saying I'm much older now, but three years, I'm 24 now, I've learned a lot in three years. When I got here, I was in the right mindset. I was in the right mindset and the right maturity level and professionalism. I was taking that transition of becoming a professional. I think it worked out for the best."

Specifically, that meant more football and less Xbox.

"Instead of going home and playing video games all night and stuff like that, it was a much different approach," Amerson continued. "I was going home and I was in my playbook or watching the film or looking at my notes on whatever team we were playing that week. It was really just the little stuff. That's what football is; it's a game of inches. It just gave me that extra beat that I needed on Sunday to make plays. ... I knew what I had to do and it just clicked for me at a time where I was being released and coming here."

It's a great story because the NFL scrap heap is littered with wildly talented players who approached the game like Amerson did during his first few seasons. But credit to him for taking responsibility to change things, and doing so in such a dramatic fashion that he earned a new contract less than a year after signing with his new team.