Giants' Position Battles: Running Back

The New York Giants have a very crowded backfield heading into training camp. One by one, it is time to whittle down the potential candidates for the starting running back position in Week 1.

Front Runners: David Wilson and Rashad Jennings

Both possess valuable experience, yet it is their simple talent level and explosiveness which place both ahead of the pack. They are the best talents on the Giants from the running back position, and will likely distinguish themselves on this basis. The one major caveat with Wilson is his neck injury which can potentially be career ending, but as of now, he is listed on the depth chart. In this case, Wilson is on the roster which means he is on the team and can still play. Therefore, with Wilson and Jennings, In this instance, pure talent and skill wins over pure determination. Ultimately, this is the major reason Wilson and Jennings are the most likely front runners at this stage to take the first snap week 1.

In the Mix: Peyton Hillis and Micheal Cox

As in any sport, an asset can become a liability in a matter of second. Therefore, it is imperative that Hillis and Cox be ready to step in and contribute barring an almost inevitable injury to one of the aforementioned front runners. Both are in this category via their previous contributions to the Giants and their experience with the Giants organization. Cox was used somewhat sparingly last season, yet during his limited playing time showed surprising explosiveness with an adept ability to hit the hole and make the most out of every carry.

When analyzing Hillis, he should first be acknowledged and applauded for his effort in helping to guide the Giants resurgence from the cellar and into mediocrity. The stability he provided at the position was a key reason why the Giants went 7-3 over their final ten games. While Hillis as the starter was most likely a temporary solution, his impact last season should not be overlooked. Ultimately, while Hillis is not the same player he was with Cleveland in 2010, he became the stabilizer for an utterly decimated backfield, and thus finally enabled the Giants to plug a flooded hole. With that being said It is still unlikely he will be the Week 1 starter, he may very well be the first man off the proverbial bench to start the season.

Darkhorse: Andre Williams

Here is an incredibly intriguing candidate for the starting running back position. On a Boston College team notorious for its physicality, Williams fit right in. He was a workhorse, an old school running back, carrying the ball over thirty times on multiple occasions last season. Williams was the focal point and the star, racking up more than 1,000 yards on the ground last season, and racking up over one 330 yards in one game alone. When players have the proverbial target on their backs they can either embrace the challenge or shy away, and in this case, Williams embraced it and shined. Team leadership is something the Giants wanted to address through the draft and a player who is willing to carry the ball nearly forty times in one game for his team deserves and likely will get more than a punchers chance to be the starter on opening week.

No Chance: Henry Hynoski and John Connor

Very solid fullbacks, but they do not have the running back build or training to be the starter come Week 1. Both will make an important impact opening holes up for the aforementioned contenders for the starting running back position.


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