Recently, there has not been much in the way of good news concerning New York Giants running back situation. On Monday, it was revealed former first round pick, David Wilson, was being placed on injured reserve and his career is most likely over due to neck issues. Yesterday, Peyton Hillis left practice early with a sprained ankle.
Heck, the depth situation at the position even forced me to consider throwing my own hat in the ring:
At this point, even I am considering placing a call to Jerry Reese to ask for a tryout at RB for the Giants #NYG
— James (@bigbluebloggers) August 5, 2014
There is a glimmer of hope, however, when it comes to Giants running backs. This year’s fourth round pick, Andre Williams, has impressed early in camp. Back when Williams was drafted, I wrote the following profile on him:
Andre Williams has good size at 5’11, 230lbs. He is a powerful runner who had a fantastic senior season, leading the nation in rushing yards (2,177) and was a Heisman trophy finalist. Williams is a prototypical Giants type back, but also exhibits decent speed for a his size. The Giants coaching staff will like that he is solid in pass protection and he should be a good replacement for Andre Brown who left in free agency, especially around the goal line (18 touchdowns last year).
In the Giants pre-season opener against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday night, Williams was nothing short of splendid. He had 7 carries for 48 yards (6.8 yards per carry) and a touchdown. The fourth rounder certainly looked like he belonged and that he could have a much bigger role early in his career than most Giants’ rookies usually have.
Although he does not have the game changing speed and quickness like David Wilson, he looked much faster than I expected. I really liked that he did not spend a lot of time dancing behind the line of scrimmage and was decisive about hitting the hole once it opened. He also showed ability to bounce off tackles and displayed a nice open field burst on his 21 yard run.
Andre Williams’ didn’t just catch the attention of Giants’ fans with his strong performance on Sunday. One of the top fantasy football prognosticators, Evan Silva of Rotoworld, tweeted this about Williams’ fantasy stock:
Andre Williams’ ADP has leaped into the late 12th round. Was going undrafted as of Sunday night. It should still be several rounds higher.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) August 6, 2014
If you play fantasy football, you definitely should keep an eye on Andre Williams as a good late round pick-up for running back depth.
One negative, though, was Andre had no catches. The big knock on him coming out of college was his inability to catch the ball, something that will be a big responsibility for running backs in Ben McAdoo’s new offense. If he can exhibit some pass catching ability over these next few pre-season games, Giants’ fans will have even more reason to be excited for the future of this young man. Only time will tell if Giants GM, Jerry Reese, has found one of the hidden gems in the draft, but the early returns are very promising.
So, Giants’ fans, did you like what you saw from Andre Williams?
Do you agree or disagree that he could have a big role in the offense this year?
Could the Giants have another potent two-headed rushing attack with Andre Williams & Rashad Jennings as they had in years past with Ahmad Bradshaw & Brandon Jacobs or Tiki Barber & Ron Dayne?
Let me hear it in the comments below!