2012 New York Giants: Time for Rookies to Breakout
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The New York Giants will finally unleash their secret weapon as they head to Washington for Monday Night Football. Teams with a two-game cushion in their division often require an added dimension to keep them focused. In this case, that spark may come in the form of rookie running back David Wilson.
Wilson has been used sparingly in the backfield following his fumble on opening night against Dallas. The rookie out of Virginia Tech has been impressive on kick returns, averaging over 25.3 yards per return, but has yet to garner any consistent touches on offense.
Andre Brown's broken fibula has opened the door for Wilson to finally emerge as a vital weapon in New York's rushing attack.
Wilson, picked 32nd in the 2012 NFL Draft, will be playing with a chip on his shoulder in Washington. After spending the majority of the season watching the 31st pick Doug Martin run rampant on opposing defenses for 1050 yards, Wilson will finally get his opportunity to showcase his talents on a national stage.
While ball security is an obvious key to keeping Wilson in the fold, learning pass protection schemes will be equally as vital. Rookies tend to have lapses in protection, which is the primary reason why they don't see the field. If Wilson can take care of his assignments, look for him to break out in a spellbinding fashion.
One rookie who is already beginning to develop as a viable option on offense is Rueben Randle. The wide receiver from LSU caught a 16-yard touchdown pass on Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers.
New York is looking for a versatile play-maker to replace Mario Manningham following his departure last offseason. Watching Randle in the very same #82 jersey for the Giants is a promising site at times. The Giants have struggled to find a consistent 3rd receiving option, toiling through the enigmatic play of Martellus Bennett and Domenik Hixon. Randle has a tremendous opportunity to establish a solid rapport with Eli Manning and improve as a receiver.
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Randle is savvy in his route-running, giving him the ability to defeat opposing teams' 3rd and 4th cornerbacks. With Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz attracting most of the defense's attention, look for Randle to start playing a larger role in the passing game down the stretch.
Perhaps the biggest moment in Randle's young career came during a 10-yard reception on Sunday night. Randle lost his forward progress back to the line of scrimmage but was able to drag a defender for a first down. That type of focus and determination will certainly garner Randle more playing time moving forward.
Both David WIlson and Rueben Randle still have plenty to prove in their rookie campaigns. Each of these promising neophytes will get legitimate chances to break out and prove their mettle on Monday Night Football.
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