The New York Giants enter the 2014 season with one of the deepest running back stables after signing Rashad Jennings from the Oakland Raiders in unrestricted free agency and drafting Boston College Eagles product Andre Williams, who was a workhorse in college and reportedly received a high grade from the Giants front office despite concerns from analysts over his ability to transition to the NFL. Williams may not have much speed, but he’s steadily improved his pass-catching ability and runs with great vision and strength as a tough burner in between the tackles with quality one-cut ability.
ESPN NFL Nation’s Dan Graziano was asked by a follower in his most recent Twitter mailbag if Williams has a shot at “challenging” Jennings or third-year RB David Wilson for carries. While Graziano believes Williams’s strength as a rusher could make him the team’s primary goal-line back, but he writes that the rookie is “well behind” Jennings, Wilson, and “even” veteran back Peyton Hillis on the team’s depth chart.
I think Williams will unseat Hillis by the time the season is over, as he looks like a quality No. 3 RB behind feature back Jennings and explosive change-of-pace guy Wilson. Michael Cox is an intriguing young player who fits in as the No. 5 back, so there’s an awful lot of depth in the Giants backfield Graziano writes that Williams will need to prove he can make an impact in the passing game next season, specifically when it comes to pass protection. Giants head coach Tom Coughlin places a huge emphasis on that part of the game, and we know that Hillis can make a big impact on passing downs in both regards.