When the New York Giants drafted David Wilson with the last pick in the first round they assumed they were drafting their future starting running back. Only time will tell if that will be the case. However, early returns on Wilson through mini-camp have been encouraging and it looks like Wilson will get plenty of reps in training camp when it begins in Albany on July 26th.
Wilson is a unique player. He reminds me of Tiki Barber, only with a greater initial burst and not as polished in the passing game. However, Wilson’s ability to make something happen should allow him to participate in third down situations for the Giants.
Wilson’s speed and ability to make defenders miss is something that Ahmad Bradshaw showed earlier in his career before foot injuries sapped him of much of his cutback ability. Bradshaw is the Giants starting running back. However, Wilson has the ability to force coaches to put him on the field and he could see an increase in playing time as the season progresses.
The Giants would be wise to ease Wilson into the offense. Sometimes rookies have trouble recognizing blitzes and that could be a bad day for Eli Manning. The Giants don’t exactly have the greatest running back depth with D.J. Ware, Da’Rel Scott, and Andre Brown joining Bradshaw and Wilson in the backfield. However, Ware has shown an ability to be a factor on third downs and is adept at picking up the blitz or running passing routes. Scott is inexperienced but has lots of potential as he showed last preseason with big runs but still has to show the coaching staff he is ready for an increased role. Brown is a bit of an unknown and is probably on the bubble for making this team. He has bounced around quite a bit since being drafted by the Giants in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL Draft.
Wilson is arguably the most talented running back the Giants have on the roster right now and could easily leapfrog Scott, Brown, and Ware on the depth chart. Even if he doesn’t, he will see time in the backfield and, if he lives up to his potential, he may never look back.