Spotlight: David Wilson

July, 5, 2012
7/05/12
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With training camp at the end of the month, our spotlight focuses on first-round pick David Wilson and the competition at backup running back.

SPOTLIGHT: David Wilson

THE COMPETITION: D.J. Ware, Da'Rel Scott and Andre Brown.

THE 411: The Giants drafted Wilson at the end of the first round with hopes that he can help plug the hole at backup running back. Brandon Jacobs, the backup to Ahmad Bradshaw last season, signed with San Francisco as a free agent.

So far, the Giants like what they have seen from Wilson, who is quick and shifty and has shown explosion at the line of scrimmage during non-contact practices.

Win McNamee/Getty ImagesDavid Wilson


Wilson also has shown the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. What remains to be seen is how fast he can pick up the offense and protection schemes while adjusting to the pro game. The Giants will also learn more about Wilson in full contact practices.

Ware, who has played 44 games over the past four season, has the upper hand in the competition at the backup running back due to his experience. But he will have to stave off Wilson, Scott and Brown.

Scott may be the fastest running back on the roster from start to finish -- offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride says Wilson is more explosive -- but he has to earn the trust of the coaching staff and continue to progress in his first offseason of full coaching and practice. The lockout wiped out offseason training last year, when Scott was a rookie.

Running backs coach Jerald Ingram likened Brown's ability to run and catch to former Giants running back Derrick Ward. Brown needs to show the Giants he has a grasp of the offense.

WHAT THE COACHES ARE SAYING: The Giants want to see what Wilson can do once he gets a hold of the offense and is able to protect Eli Manning.

"It looks like there is something that can give you some excitement," Gilbride said of what he sees in Wilson so far. "I don't know if we have had that kind of guy. Tiki [Barber] was a tremendous all-around back. Brandon gave you a certain [physical style], Ahmad gives the toughness. But this guy has the kind of explosion that I'm not sure how many guys in the league have."

Ingram said defenses will catch on to certain packages if Wilson is unable to protect the quarterback.

"There's a code of honor and respect in what we do, in being a complete running back, and that's what he has to show, protection and things like that," Ingram said at the end of OTAs in late May. "If he can't learn it, well how do we utilize his ability?"

CAMP PREDICTION: Backup running back will be one of the most competitive position battles in camp.

The Giants like Wilson's potential but it will likely come down to who they trust, as is often the case. Ware should have the edge based on his experience out of the group. There's always the possibility that the Giants could go with a committee behind Bradshaw. But initially it could be Ware until somebody else impresses the Giants enough to in a different direction.

My guess is Ware is the backup until Wilson is ready, although Brown and Scott should make camp interesting.

Tell us what you want to see with the backup running back situation.
Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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