David Wilson is extremely talented. He is a speedy back who can catch passes and will not be caught in open space. But he can’t hold onto the football, and he can’t pass protect. Until Wilson learns those skills, he isn’t a number one back.
The New York Giants have worked out many backs and will almost certainly sign one this week. It may be the ex-Giant Brandon Jacobs (a great pass protector), or veteran Willis McGahee. Either way the Giants will get a good solid running back to help out Wilson.
Truth be told, Wilson has use. As a receiver out of the backfield, or a guy who gets a few touches a game, he is perfect. Furthermore, Wilson can be the long term solution for the Giants. Learning how not to fumble and how to pass block is very teachable. In fact, many Giants fans can remember when Tiki Barber had severe fumbling problems, but by the end of his career was one of the most sure-handed backs in the league. Wilson can do just that, but he needs more time.
Whether or not he will get to learn in practice or during games is up in the air. Tom Coughlin hates fumblers, and Wilson lost loads of playing time last year after fumbling in week one against the Dallas Cowboys (sound familiar?). The Giants were also frustrated at his lack of ability to block well. It was no accident that Manning started passing more efficiently after Wilson left the game. Coughlin has the right attitude long term though. Do not expect Wilson to be cut or permanently a second string guy. Coughlin and the Giants know he is talented, but by bringing in a veteran presence, they also illustrate they know he isn’t ready.