New York Giants: Is David Wilson Ready to Be the Featured Back in 2013?

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IFebruary 7, 2013

By now, we have all heard the news on Ahmad Bradshaw's release from the New York Giants.

After six seasons and two Super Bowl championships with the club, the Giants cut ties with the 26-year-old running back on Wednesday (via ESPN New York).

The release came as a shock to many fans who thought Bradshaw would get at least one more season with the team.

So where do the Giants go from here at the running back position?

There is Andre Brown, who is a restricted free agent, but will more than likely be brought back on an inexpensive deal given that he led the Giants with eight touchdowns.

But Brown is not a featured back; he's more of a bruising back that comes in for short-yardage situations.

The player who the Giants are looking to be the featured back of the future is David Wilson, their first-round pick of the 2012 NFL draft.

Wilson got off to a rough start in his rookie campaign, fumbling in the first regular-season game against the Dallas Cowboys back in September.

With the emergence of Brown during the regular season, it had seemed like Wilson was going to be regulated to the bench, and if lucky, special teams duties.

Wilson's emergence for the Giants didn't come until Week 14 against the New Orleans Saints, when he rushed for 100 yards and two touchdowns and had 227 kick-return yards with a touchdown, giving him 327 total all-purpose yards.

The Giants got a really good glimpse of what Wilson can do with his speed and play-making ability in the open field.

And Jerry Reese knew that Bradshaw's days in New York (his salary number was $3.75 million) were numbered, which is why he was released from the team.

So now, with Bradshaw gone, it looks like Wilson is the team's No. 1 back after taking just 71 attempts during his rookie season.

Is Wilson ready to be the go-to, featured back for Big Blue?

The Giants had to go through this when both Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs took over for the retiring Tiki Barber back in 2006.

And you can even look back to when Barber became the team's go-to back after Rodney Hampton retired in 1997 and attempts with Gary Brown, Joe Montgomery and Sean Bennett failed.

There's only one way for all of us to find out if Wilson is ready to be the guy.

And that's for Tom Coughlin and Kevin Gilbride to plug him into the lineup every game and see if he's got the ability.

Reese certainly thinks Wilson can be the guy, considering he used a first-round draft pick to get him and released a running back he drafted in 2007 when he took over as the team's general manager.

I think Wilson can be the guy. And many other fans think he can be as well.

We've seen his ability and glimpses of how great he can be.

Now, we just need to see if he can mature into a prime-time NFL back.