Friday, April 27, 2012
New York Giants nab former Virginia Tech running back David Wilson
The running back is the first Hokies player to go in the first round since 2008.
The Roanoke Times | File 2011
David Wilson is the first running back the Giants have taken in the first round since 2000.
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BLACKSBURG — Just when it seemed like Virginia Tech running back David Wilson wouldn’t be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday night, the Super Bowl champion New York Giants swooped in and selected him.
Who's going to the NFL?
- 49ers draft Virginia's Cam Johnson in final round (April 29,2012)
- Dallas calls on Virginia Tech fan favorite Danny Coale (April 29, 2012)
- Former Hokies cornerback Jayron Hosley drafted by New York Giants (April 27, 2012)
The Giants took the former Hokies standout with pick No. 32, the last of the first round.
Wilson is Virginia Tech’s first running back to go that high since Kevin Jones went to the Detroit Lions with the 30th overall pick in 2004.
Wilson is the first Hokies player to go in the first round since offensive tackle Duane Brown was taken by the Houston Texas in 2008 and the ninth Tech player to go in the first round overall.
"He’s a speed guy," ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said on TV immediately after the pick. "He’s an athletic guy. You watched him on film, you broke him down. He makes some things happen. Very athletic. We’re talking about a 41-inch vertical jump. This kid can fly.
"Thinking about all-around play, can he do it? He had some fumbing problems. Ball security at Virginia Tech was an issue. He knows he has to change that in the NFL. But the talent is in abundance with David Wilson."
Fellow analyst Jon Gruden added: "If you haven’t seen him jump yet, this kid can do about 13 somersaults. I can’t wait until he scores."
A junior from Danville who bypassed his senior season to enter the draft, Wilson is the second Hokies tailback to be selected in the last two years. Ryan Williams was a second-round pick by the Arizona Cardinals last year.
The 5-foot-10, 206-pound Wilson broke Williams’ single-season rushing record by finishing with 1,709 yards last season in his first as the featured tailback, earning ACC Overall and Offensive Player of the Year honors.
He was projected anywhere from a first- to third-round pick in the lead-up to the draft, with scouts loving his athleticism and speed but questioning decision-making and ball security.
Wilson got the last laugh. He was the third back taken Thursday. Alabama’s Trent Richardson, the unanimous top back, went No. 3 to the Cleveland Browns.
When Tampa Bay traded up to No. 31 to take Boise State’s Doug Martin, things looked bleak for Wilson.
But the Giants, who many projected beforehand would go with a running back, took Wilson next.
Ahmad Bradshaw, who went to Graham High School in Bluefield, Va., was New York’s leading rusher last year with 659 yards and nine touchdowns, and he returns. But the Giants lost bruising running back Brandon Jacobs (571 yards, 7 TD) to San Francisco in free agency.
New York, which won its second Super Bowl in five years in February, ranked last in the NFL last season in rushing last season, averaging 89.2 yards per game.