The New York Giants selected Virginia Tech running back David Wilson with the 32nd pick of the 2012 NFL draft, a big step in the effort to bolster a running game that ranked worst in the NFL in 2011. Wilson broke former Giant Tiki Barber's ACC record for all-purpose yards his final season at Virginia Tech with 2,253 total yards.
In the Giants 101 yearly positional rankings released at the end of March, I had Wilson as the second highest graded running back behind Trent Richardson in this draft. To see the rankings and breakdown of the backs, click here.
Today, we take an in-depth look at the newest member of the New York Giants offense and what he brings to the table.
- ACC record holder for all-purpose yards with 2,253 in 2011.
- 2nd team All American in 2011.
- 2011 ACC overall player of the year.
- 2011 ACC offensive player of the year.
- Scored 10 touchdowns and carried 290 times for 1,709 yards in 2011 (school record). Good for just under six yards per carry. Also added 22 receptions.
- Tied ACC single-season record with ten 100 yard games.
- Excellent combination of speed and burst. Has that rare gear to break away from defensive backs to the end zone at the NFL level. Has the jets.
- Very tough runner and will not shy away from contact. Lowers the pads and looks for the extra yard.
- Never takes a play off, very hard worker on the football field, and also a hard worker off the field. Loves the game.
- Elusive, strong, and has great balance. Will shake away from one would-be tackler and drop his shoulder into the next. Competitive and gains yards after initial contact.
- Dangerous in the open field on the bubble screen and can without a doubt hit the homerun.
- Extremely durable and productive for Virginia Tech. Strong career at a high level of competition.
- Solid hands and can be relied on to catch the swing pass out of the backfield.
- Talked about as an outstanding, high energy, high character teammate.
- Has ball security issues that will need to be addressed to be a full-time back at the NFL level.
- Can get impatient and miss running lanes and can be indecisive.
- Needs work in pass protection to be effective in blitz pickup and keep his quarterback clean.
- Will need to add some bulk to his frame going into the NFL game.
I'm going to give you three names on this one so stay with me – DeAngelo Williams, Tiki Barber, and a bit of LeSean McCoy. That's the mold I see in Wilson as a runner. Barber had better instincts and vision, but Wilson is similar in his smooth athleticism and acceleration after he breaks past the first level. Like Williams, he likes to run low to the ground and can be difficult to bring down with his toughness and power. Can hit the home run and shake tacklers in the hole like McCoy. I'm not saying he's good to be up there in McCoy's league, but the skill set is similar to these guys and if he can tone down the fumbling and become a little more patient in the backfield, this is going to be another scary weapon for the New York Giants offense.
PROJECTED ROLE IN 2012 WITH THE GIANTS
I expect Wilson to come in and step into the #2 running back spot behind Ahmad Bradshaw this summer. DJ Ware is a solid all-around utility back and Da'Rel Scott is dangerous on the edge, but Wilson is the most talented back of the group and could push Bradshaw for more and more carries as the season goes on if he stays healthy.
Wilson brings a home-run hitting, explosive element to the Giants offense as a runner and also gives them the best receiver out of the backfield they've had in quite some time. Look for him to get 11-13 carries a game along with some opportunities as a pass-catcher to start the season, and possibly even some return duties.
I expect the Giants running game to take a significant step forward with this addition next season.
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