Today we continue the theme of running back for the New York Giants 2012 NFL Draft profile series. With Brandon Jacobs out the door and no viable option behind incumbent Ahmad Bradshaw, Jerry Reese and his crew need to consider drafting a running back as early as possible, without reaching of course.
The Giants finished dead last in rushing the football in 2011, which had more to do with the offensive line than anything, but they could have used some help in the backfield as well.
Bradshaw missed four games and Jacobs had the worst season of his career. It was the first time under Tom Coughlin the Giants finished any worse than 17th in rushing.
One player the Giants could have their eye on is Virginia Tech’s David Wilson, who is about as close to a do-it-all back as you can get, and one running back the Giants could see as their back for the future.
Despite Wilson’s small stature (5’10″, 205 lbs), the Hokies running back is a very powerful runner that fights for every yard. According to Dan Pompei of the National Football Post, Wilson had the most yards after contact in 2011 with 990. That’s more than half of his 1,709 yard total from last year.
It was also 267 yards more than Trent Richardson, who is the consensus No. 1 back this year. I don’t believe anyone is going to say Wilson is more powerful than Richardson, but that is an impressive stat from Wilson.
Wilson could be a better pass protector and fumbled seven times in 2011, but Coughlin is the right coach to fix both of those problems.
Wilson has terrific straight line speed, can hit the edge with a ton of burst, and has great vision to maneuver between the tackles. His small body size helps him hide behind offensive lineman, but he also has the power to break tackles and fight for yards.
The Giants could get Wilson with the 32 overall pick, or even move down a number of picks and pick up an extra pick or two. The need for a running back is a high priority this year, one that should not be addressed beyond round four.
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