ALBANY -- David Wilson knew he was fast, but he didn't know his new team would be so impressed with that speed. The Giants have been raving about the wheels on their first-round pick since he reported for rookie minicamp this spring with both offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride and Eli Manning calling him, among other things, the fastest running back they've seen with this franchise.
"That's crazy because a lot of great players have come through here," Wilson said Saturday. "Me having a so-called speed advantage over them, it makes me wonder how my career will turn out."
The Giants are wondering that, too. Of course, his career hasn't even started. The team has made it clear that Wilson will not get to showcase his blistering speed unless he can protect the quarterback and comprehend the playbook. Wilson said he understands those conditions and is working on proving his ability to the higher-ups.
Right now, he's way back on the depth chart. Fifth, in fact, after getting reps with the third unit (and a few with the second Saturday) in his first two practices. He's shown he can catch the ball, snaring a couple of high passes so far. But he won't be able to really see how his speed matches up against NFL defenders until he faces some live hitting. That might not be until the first preseason game Friday against Jacksonville.
Wilson said he makes a list of goals for every season, and once he figures out what his role on this team will be, he'll compile them for 2012. "I'm very competitive, so I want to have a very successful rookie season and career," he said. "The goals in there will not be easy to obtain."
Last year at Virginia Tech, his goal sheet included things such as rushing for 100 yards in each game and scoring one touchdown per game. It also included having a strong workout at the combine and becoming a first-round pick. He accomplished those goals when the Giants selected him with the 32nd pick.
And now, before he's even taken a handoff in full-contact football conditions, he's already being raved about as the fastest running back this team has ever seen.
"I didn't know it stood out that much," he said. "It's just me and I just go out there and use my God-given abilities."