In the Rashad Jennings debate that's raged throughout the spring and summer -- is he a low-end RB2 or a flex? -- I came down squarely on the RB2 side. Back in March I laid out six reasons to get excited about Jennings and his new situation.
This week's David Wilson news changes things. It was never a certainty Giants doctors would clear him for full contact, not after Wilson underwent neck fusion surgery. There was a real chance Wilson would never play again.
Now Wilson is starting training camp with no restrictions whatsoever. Coaches will ease him back in, but he won't wear special equipment or be limited medically.
The New York Daily News doesn't envision Wilson grabbing the lead back role he was ticketed for last year until fumbling it away. "Still, if Wilson can regain the coaching staff's confidence, he could be dangerous in new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo's system, which should include plenty of swing passes and screens to running backs," the paper said.
That's a problem for Jennings' value. He was looking at 50-plus receptions if Wilson didn't get cleared.
Jennings did not drop any of the 36 catchable passes thrown his way last year and is excellent in pass protection. But the Giants would be foolish not to use Wilson on swing passes and screens. He's clocked a sub-4.3 forty and is far more explosive than Jennings.
Rookie Andre Williams (5-11, 230) is a pounder who won't figure in the passing game, but he could siphon goal-line carries away from Jennings. Williams lined up in the goal-line package on the first day of practice, another bad sign for Jennings.
It seems hard to believe now, but Wilson was getting drafted in Round 2 last year, as the 14th running back off the board. He's that talented.
Before the Wilson news, Jennings was going 27th among RBs in CBSSports.com leagues. He was going significantly higher elsewhere, as an RB2 from 19th to 24th on four other sites. Dave Richard ranks Jennings 27th and Jamey Eisenberg has him 30th.
It's no longer possible to make a strong case for Jennings as an RB2.
Currently ranked in the 50s, Wilson worked with the second team Tuesday as camp opened. He'll move into RB4 territory soon.