New York Giants RB Depth Chart
Rashad Jennings, 29
David Wilson, 23
- Andre Williams, 21
- Peyton Hillis, 28
- Michael Cox, 24
Goal-line back: Jennings
The Giants had issues with the health and depth of their backs a year ago, but they add Jennings via free agency and Williams in the draft. They also hope Wilson's career-threatening neck injury will be healed enough to allow him to be cleared for contact in training camp, as Michael Eisen of the Giants' official website writes.
Jennings fits the Giants' traditional running-back mold. He is a big back at 6'1", 231 pounds, so he will handle the early downs and goal-line work regardless of Wilson's health.
Jennings hasn't been a full-time feature back in his four-year career, only emerging in that role in spurts last season. He also hasn't played a 16-game season, which might be because of his physical running style getting him banged up. He is going to need plays, if not full games, off.
Wilson was drafted to be a game-breaker. He has merely wound up broken. He needed career-threatening spinal fusion surgery and told Eisen:
I sat down (in early June) and Dr. Cammisa showed me the X-rays and the CAT scan and my surgery has been successful. We're just waiting for the bone to heal strong enough for contact. The doctors will know when that point is. I feel perfectly fine. ...
I can do anything and everything that's asked of me at this point. I'm removed when it's defense vs. offense so as not to have an accident. I'm catching passes, taking handoffs from the quarterbacks and getting reps with the offense without the defense.
There's no need to have contact (now). We want to wait until it's fused all the way, but there's no need to have unnecessary contact at an unnecessary point in the season. We don't have full contact in OTAs, anyway. We don't have pads on. Any contact that happens in the OTAs is accidental and wasn't meant to happen. There's no need for me to go out there and have an accident that takes us backward when we've come so far and my surgery went well and I'm making such good progress. There's no need for me to go out there and have an accident. We're just working hard, and I'm learning the playbook. As long as I'm getting my mental reps, I think the coaches believe in my athletic ability to take over after that, and I'll be just fine.
Wilson, despite promising reports, just doesn't have the stature for a feature back in a power-running scheme. He is more of a change-of-pace guy now...and not as a third-down back because he lacks the pass-blocking strength and skills.
Williams rushed for over 2,000 yards as a senior at Boston College, and at 230 pounds, he will be an option to follow Jennings as the early-down back. He will have to jump veteran bruiser Hillis in camp, but as you see above, we don't think that will be much of an issue. Even if Williams doesn't possess Wilson's speed, he has the feature-back potential because of his size and physical running style.
He is merely roster depth at this point in his career. He hasn't proved capable of staying healthy since his 1,000-yard season and subsequent Madden cover appearance. We fully expect him to slide down the depth chart as Wilson proves healthy and Williams proves capable.
Cox is a big back who can do more than he did a year ago, but that is close to multiplying by zero. He is merely a special teams option at this point.