Mailbag: David Wilson and the New York Giants' backfield situation


Welcome to another edition of the New York Giants mailbag here at cover32. Free agency is fast approaching and draft season is looming in the distant future, making for an exciting NFL offseason once again.

Two questions this week voice concerns over the Giants’ current running back situation and what lies ahead in 2014.

What do you see for David Wilson in the future and is he ultimately the No.1 guy in the Giants’ backfield?
– Kevin (Hoboken, NJ)

David Wilson is a bit of an enigma at this moment. I’d like to see he’ll be 100 percent healthy for the season opener, his neck will never bother him and he’ll finally develop into the superstar many believe he can be. But that may be a bit unrealistic.

Wilson’s neck injury is very serious, potentially even more serious than the back injury Jason Pierre-Paul has been battling (and most in the organization and the media have tried to downplay). Wilson’s career is at risk and even if he’s able to be a competitive football player, his first-round potential may have taken hit due to ongoing difficulties with his neck injury and the effect it will have on his performance.

Let’s not forget that Wilson has 115 pro carries under his belt. The 22-year-old back is still very young by NFL terms, but the Giants would likely wish to see some return on their investment in the electric athlete’s third season with the team.

Is he ultimately the No. 1 guy in the Giants’ backfield? That all depends on all of the factors I’ve noted above.

He needs to be healthy, first and foremost. Then, he needs to step up, take the reins and show that he’s deserving of being their go-to guy. Step one in doing that would be to not fumble—his fatal flaw since the beginning with head coach Tom Coughlin.

How will the Giants address their needs at the RB position? Free agency? Draft?
– Marcus (Harrison, NJ)

Don’t be surprised if they go both routes. Based on availability and needs, I’d say they’ll probably go cheap and land a serviceable back like Green Bay’s James Starks. But I could see them taking a running back somewhere between the second and fourth round of the draft.

Me personally, I like Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey, Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde or Boston College’s Andre Williams. All three are moreso power backs than speedsters and would provide a nice change of pace from Wilson (assuming he’ll be healthy). All three can block (a major key) and Carey and Hyde are at least capable of catching the football; Williams not so much.

One thing is for certain, however: they must do something. David Wilson won’t be able to do it alone, healthy or not, and while I like some of what I saw from Michael Cox in preseason and on special teams, he is not somebody to hinge even half the team’s carries on for the 2014 season.

General Manager Jerry Reese knows this. That’s why he’s voiced his opinion on Wilson and the backfield situation often. It will be interesting to see how he chooses to address the position with so many other needs on the table as well. The direction the Giants choose to go in could also tell you what to expect from offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense and just how valuable the running back will be in that new scheme.

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