David Wilson was the New York Giants' first-round pick, so it's no surprise to learn that they think he's loaded with raw talent. Having had the chance to work with him during the offseason program and in minicamp this week, the Giants' offensive coordinator offered high praise for the rookie running back from Virginia Tech:
"I don’t know if we’ve had a guy as explosive, regardless of position, here," said offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. "That’s kind of exciting to see."
Coaches can be given to hyperbole at this time of year, but Gilbride's a veteran coach and he's had some pretty explosive players come through during his time in New York. If he's saying this about a rookie in his first minicamp, the kid's done something to open his eyes.
So, what's the catch?
"There’s a lot of learning going on," he said of Wilson. "You can see the smoke coming out of his ears, and the eyes goin' around in different directions. ... There’s a long way to go before you can tap into it."
Yes, the question with Wilson does not seem to be whether he can help the Giants' running game but when. The Giants believe in their system and their coaches and their veteran players so completely that they're certain a player of Wilson's talents will, at some point, be a good running back for them. But they need to balance his learning curve against their own need for a replacement for Brandon Jacobs. Since the group that includes Da'Rel Scott, D.J. Ware and Andre Brown has not produced an obvious candidate to back up starter Ahmad Bradshaw, Wilson is in the 2012 mix. But that second quote from Gilbride should remind Giants fans that the more likely possibility (and, probably, the Giants' preference) is that someone from that more experienced threesome emerges as the 2012 backup while Wilson continues to learn and work his way into the mix.
Again, that's the way the Giants like to do it. It doesn't mean the kid won't come quickly. It doesn't mean he won't emerge in training camp as the best option. They obviously like him a lot, and he'll get his chance. It's just a matter of when.