Camp preview: Running backs

July, 16, 2013
7/16/13
4:35
PM ET
As training camp approaches, we're counting down to camp by taking a look at the Giants, position by position.

Position: Running backs.

Projected starters: RB David Wilson, FB Henry Hynoski.

Projected reserves: RB Andre Brown, RB Da'Rel Scott, RB Michael Cox, RB Ryan Torain.

[+] EnlargeDavid Wilson
AP Photo/Frank Franklin IIDavid Wilson has an opportunity to earn the starting job.
New faces: Cox.

The departed: Ahmad Bradshaw, Kregg Lumpkin.

Player to watch: All eyes will be on Wilson, whose opportunity to be the lead back has come one season after being drafted in the first round. He has a lot to prove in camp and has been working hard to master the offense. Wilson needs to beat out Brown for the starting job and earn the trust of the coaching staff and Manning that he can protect the quarterback and recognize defenses. There is no doubting Wilson's warp speed and big-play ability. But will the coaches ultimately trust Wilson enough to give him ample enough carries to break off some of those monster runs and be a 1,000-yard rusher?

Potential strength: Tom Coughlin will likely split carries between Wilson and Brown, who should complement each other well. While Wilson brings the home-run threat, Brown offers the Giants a well-rounded option. He can run with power, can catch out of the backfield, block and excel in the short-yardage game.

If Brown is healthy after breaking his leg last year, don't be surprised to see the former well-traveled running back get the majority of carries in some games. He should be the goal-line back again. With Bradshaw gone, the coaches might trust the veteran Brown a bit more than Wilson at the moment. But they also love Wilson's explosive ability and acknowledge his improvement from last year. Coughlin will likely go with the hot hand and whomever he trusts in crunch time. Either way, the combination should offer some diversity to the running game.

Potential weakness: There's a lot of ifs when it comes to the running game this season. Even though Bradshaw was oft-injured, he was the heart and soul of the offense and the toughest player the Giants had. He also was their best pass protector in the backfield. Bradshaw was a major presence on the team in the locker room and one of the most respected Giants. The Giants didn't just lose Bradshaw -- they also lost Martellus Bennett's blocking with the tight end going to Chicago in free agency.

With Hynoski recovering from knee surgery and the possibility that the fullback might not be ready for the start of the season, the Giants have some run-blocking concerns. They will have to play Bear Pascoe at fullback more and Brandon Myers or Adrien Robinson will have to provide blocking at the tight end spot at times. And we still have to see who will start at right tackle –- David Diehl, James Brewer or Justin Pugh.

Wild card: Cox. Coughlin said Cox impressed him at times during rookie camp and OTAs and the head coach has often talked about how he loved having three backs contribute like the trio he once had in Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward. The Giants would be thrilled to have a third back emerge whether it is seventh-round pick Cox or former seventh-round pick Scott.

Tell us what you think about the running backs entering camp.
Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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