When rookies approach training camp they want nothing more than to make an early impression and earn some playing time. New York Giants' first-round draft pick David Wilson is certainly no different.
There was an early rave this past spring over Wilson for his speed and athleticism, but whatever pressures he faces comes from within him and not from others.
"It’s not even like people or outsiders’ expectations of me; it’s my expectation of myself," said Wilson. "I put a lot of pressure on myself and am very competitive. So I would like to have a successful rookie season and career. That’s where it starts. Learn this playbook and adjust to the speed of the NFL."
He's anxious to show what he's capable of, but Wilson is willing to wait for his turn behind some of the veterans while they take their reps. Wilson has run with the third unit the first three days of training camp, taking his snaps after Ahmad Bradshaw, D.J. Ware and even Andre Brown get theirs.
"It’s good because I get to watch them. Make sure I do it right," said Wilson. "I’m the new guy, and that’s the way it was everywhere I started. You’re not going to just come up and be placed in front of the guys that have been there and done it."
Wilson wants nothing more than to just have a successful rookie season. He explains how he sets up a goal sheet every season to set his expectations.
"Well I make a goal sheet every year before my season starts, so once I find out my exact role I make the goal sheet," said Wilson. "Probably after the first preseason game, I’ll start it out. The goals on there will be not easy to obtain. 100 yards per game. Score or have a touchdown every game."
Earlier in the spring offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride mentioned Wilson is one of the most explosive players on the roster. Wilson seemed surprised by the comments saying he didn't think he had already made a big impression at that point. "I didn’t know it stood out that much. It’s just me and I just go out there and use my God-given ability," said Wilson.
Wide receiver Victor Cruz also noticed Wilson's explosive talents calling his ability unique. "I definitely see his speed. I see his explosiveness. I see just a unique ability to change gears and directions at the drop of a dime," said Cruz. "He’s going to be exciting to watch. I’m excited for when we get the pads on and goes full go. I’m excited to see him play. He’s a great compliment. He’s going to improve our stable. I think he’s going to come in and make an immediate impact."
Wilson is not going to let those comments give him a big head, however. He wants to build his confidence by succeeding on the big stage.
"I haven’t played a game, I haven’t done any NFL competition other than practice," said Wilson. "You can be a star in practice, but until you step on the game field and make an impact on the game. I’m just waiting for that opportunity." This attitude makes him more excited to get on the field for preseason. "I’m definitely looking forward to that. Playing against another defense full contact anytime. I know we have scrimmages but…I’m just looking to go through for a full speed contact motion," said Wilson.
Overall, Wilson has set a lot of expectations for himself and those alone will motivate him to succeed. With all of the compliments he's been getting that he finds surprising, he's anxious to see what his future has in store for him.
"Yeah, that’s crazy, because a lot of great players come through here," said Wilson. Me having the speed advantage, 'so-called,' over them just makes me wonder how my career will turn out."