It has been just two years since the New York Giants drafted David Wilson in the first round with the intention of grooming him to be the team’s running back of the future. However, in those two years, the plan has veered wildly off course.
In his rookie campaign, Wilson saw limited action in New York’s backfield but was still able to flash some of his big-play potential, which initially attracted the Giants to him. He was also an impact player on special teams where he transformed the kick return unit into a lethal commodity.
Wilson’s highlight game came against the Saints, when he compiled 327 all-purpose yards, a Giants record. He returned a kick-off 97 yards for a touchdown and also rushed for 100 yards and two more scores along the way.
However, 2013 was a season to forget for Wilson, just like the way it was for most members of the G-Men. Wilson was supposed to be New York’s feature back when Andre Brown went down in the preseason. Instead, Wilson fumbled twice in the season opener and quickly found himself in Tom Coughlin’s doghouse.
Things got worse for there, as Wilson was never able to gain his footing. He rushed for over 5o yards just once in five games and in Week 5, Wilson injured his neck and was subsequently lost for the season. Wilson underwent serious operations in order to repair his neck and his timetable for a healthy return is a bit murky right now.
With Wilson’s status in doubt, the Giants went out and signed Rashad Jennings in free agency, hoping he will become the team’s full-time starter. New York also re-signed veteran Peyton Hillis to join Michael Cox as the team’s other options at running back.
The Giants also used free agency to beef up their return units. New York signed Trindon Holliday and Quintin Demps, both of whom have been very explosive return men in the recent past.
Only time will tell whether or not Wilson can make a full return to the team in 2014. He will have to prove himself in practice in order to find his way back into the rotation in either the backfield or on special teams.
We’ve seen what Wilson is capable of in the past and he will have to take advantage of his opportunities when his handed them. After all, the Giants have a lot of options now and could easily move in another direction.