Four New York Giants Who Could Be Primed to Break out in 2013

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistJune 27, 2013

August 22, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants player Rueben Randle (82) during training camp at the Timex Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Tim Farrell/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports
The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

Excluding rookies and those who have already made a Pro Bowl or put together anything close to what some might consider to be an "elite" season, here's a look at the four members of the New York Giants who could be on the verge of breaking out in a big way in 2013:


1. Running back David Wilson
Age: 22
Experience: 1 season

With Ahmad Bradshaw gone, the firecracker 2012 first-round pick is ready to take over as the Giants' lead back. Momentum indicates that Wilson could shine immediately in 2013, because he really picked up his play after gaining freedom from Tom Coughlin's doghouse early in the season.

Wilson had 273 yards from scrimmage on 46 touches while scoring four touchdowns during the final four weeks of the 2012 season. His 5.7 yards-per-carry number during that span matched Adrian Peterson's average in the same window and was the fourth-highest rate in the league among backs with at least 40 carries in those four weeks. 

"He is as dynamic a player at that position that the Giants have ever had," said Giants all-time leading rusher Tiki Barber earlier this week, according to "So it is just a matter of him learning those little intricacies of what it takes to be great."

Those intricacies include becoming better at picking up blitzes and blocking in general. If Wilson can nail down that part of his game in 2013, he'll become a Pro Bowl-caliber back.


2. Wide receiver Rueben Randle
Age: 22
Experience: 1 season

It looks as though the Giants have found their new full-time No. 3 receiver and maybe even an eventual replacement for Hakeem Nicks, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract in New York. Randle, who was a second-round pick last year, started putting it together in December, posting five catches, 101 yards and two touchdowns in the final two weeks of the 2012 regular season.

With Domenik Hixon gone, look for Randle, who dropped only a single pass on 32 targets in 2012, to produce at a similar rate from the get-go in 2013. The LSU product definitely has the talent and ability to rise up, and he received considerable praise for his practice performances when Nicks and Victor Cruz were absent earlier this offseason. 

With so much support on offense and Eli Manning throwing the passes, Randle might even have a chance to become a star this season.


3. Linebacker Jacquian Williams
Age: 24
Experience: 2 seasons

Williams recorded 78 tackles despite starting only two of the 16 games he played in as a rookie in 2011, and the former sixth-round pick out of South Florida has missed just four tackles while taking 814 snaps, primarily as a backup, during his first two seasons. 

Now, with Michael Boley gone, Williams is the lead candidate to start on the weak side of the linebacking corps, and while he's not overly versatile and might not possess top-notch playmaking ability, he has the potential to become a tackle machine and a very reliable run-stopping presence on D in 2013.


4. Safety Will Hill
Age: 23
Experience: 1 season

Going out on a little bit of a limb here, at least in comparison to the first three youngsters listed, because Hill wasn't drafted in 2011, has a sordid history with drugs and partying, and is firmly a backup at this moment.

But the kid can really play and can lay some serious wood. He was only in for 218 snaps in what was for all intents and purposes his rookie season, but the Arena Football League alumnus still managed to earn a higher PFF grade (subscription required) than starting defensive backs Prince Amukamara, Antrel Rolle and Corey Webster.

With Kenny Phillips gone and neither Rolle nor Stevie Brown sure things as far as execution and durability, and with the Giants prone to utilize three safeties at a time on occasion, Hill is a dark-horse candidate to emerge as a top-level contributor to a shaky defense in 2013.