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David Wilson Retires From Football

Anyone complaining about the lack of posts is not on Twitter.  So get on twitter, follow us and get as much Giants as you crave from that Social Media site..  there are so many Giants players, beat writers, NY Giants bloggers, NY Giants lists, breaking news, you name it.  And during the games during the season, it is such a great way to follow what is going on.

So what is in this post? All I have to do is look back on my twitter feed over the past few days to remember what has been current and what is being talked about.  The number one big news item over the last 48 hours was the retirement of David Wilson from football.   On Monday we found out that the Doctors advised him to stop playing.  And today he made it official.   It is a very sad moment for Wilson, the Giants organization, his teammates, and Giants fans.  Wilson exited with grace and class.  His gratitude for everything he has been given was made perfectly clear.  It is this kind of balance that will serve him well in his next career.

Whether David Wilson had had a tremendous career or not, the lessons from this individual are there.  Of course Wilson could have had this (neck injury) happen to him if he were playing any position, but it is not a complete coincidence that he was a Running Back.  Running backs have the shortest average career length of any position in the NFL.  They are subjected to the equivalent of a car crash every single game.  Because of the brutal pounding these players take, NFL teams have lowered the number of snaps they take by platooning them with other RBs.  Add that the rules favor passing over running the ball and the entire position is marginalized.  It should not be a complete surprise then that fewer teams are taking RBs in Round 1 of the NFL Draft.  In the 2013 and 2014 Draft, no RBs were taken in Round 1, as GMs are learning that unless the player is totally compelling, it is not worth it.  While the example of David Wilson is just one data point, he is nonetheless the prime example of why taking these players very high in the Draft is not a good investment.

For every Adrian Peterson, there are so many other RBs that have been unable to deliver the reward hoped for by their selectors.  Trent Richardson, Doug Martin, David Wilson, Mark Ingram, CJ Spiller, Ryan Matthews, Jahvid Best, Knowshon Moreno, Donald Brown, Beanie Wells,.. McFadden, Stewart, Jones, Mendenhall, Johnson, Lynch, Bush, Maroney, Williams, Addai..  Sure that some of these players have made significant contributions, but the only ones that arguably justified their Round 1 selection were AP, Chris Johnson and Marshawn Lynch.  That is a hit rate of 14%.  That is a very weak reward for your “can’t miss” pick. And even when these guys are good, their careers are shorter than other Round 1 franchise players.

Can your RB catch a pass out of the backfield?  In today’s NFL, the new recipe for success is being able to block for the passing game and being able to squeeze out for a flare or screen.  Amazingly, out of the 21 players picked in Round 1 since 2006, only 1 (Lynch) has a ring.  That also says something about the requirements for winning in the NFL in 2014.

This year the Giants selected Andre Williams in Round 4.  He looked the part in his first dress rehearsal this past weekend at the HOF Game.  Round 4, like Brandon Jacobs and Andre Brown.  That’ll work.