In 2013, New York Giants rookie running back David Wilson caught the eye and attention of everyone in the league with his electric speed that lead to great kick-off returns.
In Week 14 against the New Orleans Saints at MetLife Stadium, Wilson absolutely torched the New Orleans special teams unit. After the Saints had taken a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, Wilson squashed their momentum by taking the following kick-off 97 yards to the house and tying the game at 7-7.
A lot of the questions people were having about drafting Wilson seemed to evaporate with excitement, watching what the first-round draft pick could do with some space in the open field. Against New Orleans, he only had four kick off returns, but had 227 total yards with a touchdown, averaging out to 56.8 yards per return.
Wilson also had a great game running the ball as well, carrying the ball 13 times for 100 yards with two touchdowns. This could be viewed as the game that put Ahmad Bradshaw on notice with the team, as he was released from the organization in early February.
Wilson’s final kick-off return numbers in 2012 were 57 returns for 1533 yards with one touchdown, averaging out to 26.9 yards per return.
With Wilson now slated to be the starting running back in 2013, the Giants aren’t sure if they want their starter on kick-off duties. Giants special teams coordinator Tom Quinn told the media at the Giants rookie camp on Saturday that he thinks there may be an open competition for the job.
“It’s not my decision,” Quinn said. “He’d like to do both, but it all depends on his role in a game.”
Quinn also said he wouldn’t have the final decision on whether or not Wilson would be handling the kick-off duties in 2013 and depended on what kind of role he would have in the Giants offense. Wilson has said in the past that he would like to do both the running back and kick-off return roles.
Two names you could see get involved for the competition are cornerback Aaron Ross and wide receiver Rueben Randle, as they will likely be in the mix for the punt return duties as well. Long time return specialist Domenik Hixon left the Giants to sign with the Carolina Panthers in free agency.
Art Stapleton from the Bergen Record tweeted that you might see Jerrel Jernigan and Jayron Hosley in the mix as well. Jernigan does have some experience working in the Giants special teams as a kick returner in 2011.
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