After the New York Giants placed David Wilson on season-ending injured reserve this week the word “bust” was bandied about in some circles and forums. However, despite a rocky start to his career the future is still bright for the 2012 first-round pick.
Last season, Wilson quickly went into Tom Coughlin’s doghouse for his fumble against the Dallas Cowboys and his trouble in pass protection. He was given a chance to fight his way back through special teams where Wilson flourished and gave an immense lift to a return game that was void of excitement seemingly since Ron Dixon left. He worked his way back into the running back rotation and ended the season with 71 carries for 358 yards, a 5 yard-per-carry average, and four touchdowns. Wilson’s performance helped GM Jerry Reese come to the conclusion that Wilson might be ready to handle the primary running back duties and allowed Ahmad Bradshaw to leave as a free agent.
Wilson’s 2013 season got off to an awful start. Wilson fumbled twice in the season-opener against the Cowboys and struggled to find room to run. His poor start was a combination of poor ball protection and terrible run blocking which has plagued the Giants almost all season. With an offensive line in flux and a team struggling in every facet of the game, Wilson struggled to establish himself as the primary running back.
It was difficult for the Giants to truly try and establish their running game as they fell behind early and often, losing their first six games. Wilson’s best game this season came on September 29th against the Kansas City Chiefs when he carried the ball 13 times for 55 yards. The next week he found the end zone against the Philadelphia Eagles but suffered his neck/back injury that has now ended his season and could even have put his career in a bit of jeopardy.
If Wilson is able to return next season the Giants should have addressed their offensive line issues and he should have a lot more room to run. Given his speed and agility, Wilson is best when he has a lane to burst through and becomes a real threat once he is able to accelerate. He needs space since he isn’t going to run through anyone and the Giants line wasn’t able to give him any this season.
The Giants’ front office and coaching staff are committed to Wilson and Wilson is still their best option at running back. If he is cleared medically it will be interesting to see Wilson perform next season. Giants’ fans and the coaching staff were eager to see him break out this season. That never came to fruition but it is way too early to label him a bust and we should see Wilson start to live up to his potential next season.