The New York Giants are entering the 2014 season with a very tumultuous situation at running back. Among the question marks, there’s Andre Williams, the team’s fourth-round pick this year out of Boston College who won the Doak Walker award last year as college football‘s best running back. There’s also Rashad Jennings and Peyton Hillis, two veteran running backs who have both experienced limited success throughout their careers and are trying to find a permanent role in New York.
Then there’s David Wilson, the Giants’ first round pick from 2012. Wilson burst onto the scene in 2012 after a 100-yard, three-touchdown performance against the New Orleans Saints, and he was an early-round draft pick in 2013 fantasy football drafts. He was shut down last season after suffering a neck injury and being diagnosed with spinal stenosis, but he’s working his way back from neck surgery and is optimistic he’ll be ready to get back on the field during training camp. Should he also be working his way back up your virtual draft board?
His talent is obvious. Wilson was a first-round pick for a reason back in 2012. At the time, he was considered a luxury pick. The Giants didn’t necessarily need a running back, but his play-making ability was so obvious that they took him anyways. Wilson has averaged 4.4 yards per carry throughout his career and he has absolutely blazing speed. If given the opportunity, Wilson’s speed and quickness should allow him to thrive in new offensive coordinator, Ben McAdoo‘s, offense. McAdoo’s offense is designed to eliminate decision making, so when Wilson has the ball in his hands his job is simply going to be to find the hole and fire through it.
There are two big negatives with Wilson. First and foremost is health. Wilson is recovering from a very serious neck injury, and I think it’s fair to label him as an injury risk until he proves he can make it through an entire season with a heavy workload. The second negative is the Giants’ depth at running back. Wilson will be competing with multiple backs for touches, but that picture should become clearer as the offseason progresses.
If you already have some depth at running back, Wilson is without a doubt worth a late-round flier. The talent is there, and if he can remain healthy he could provide some serious value in 2014.
Bye Week: 8
Projected Round: 10
Auction Value: $3 (ESPN)