10. David Wilson
Position: Running back
College: Virginia Tech
Overall Pick: 32
Year Drafted: 2012
David Wilson‘s story is among the most heartbreaking in the NFL. Coming out of college, the kid had immense potential. He was drafted months after the Giants won their second Super Bowl of the century, with the last pick of the first round. Despite winning it all the previous year, the Giants dual rushing attack of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw had struggled to get going all season.
Wilson was meant to be a change of pace back, an explosive option in the backfield. In college, he was named ACC Offensive Player of the Year in 2011, and set a Hokie record for the most 100 yard performances and yards per carry.
In his rookie season in the NFL, Wilson was a second team All-Pro because of his return ability. Against the New Orleans Saints, Wilson racked up 327 all purpose yards, a Giants franchise record– 227 returning yards, including a 97 yard touchdown return, and also 100 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns on just 13 carries.
— New York Giants (@Giants) October 29, 2015
However, his career was tragically derailed by a neck injury in Week 5 against the Philadelphia Eagles in his sophomore season. After getting several neck operations, Wilson announced his retirement in August of 2014, after playing just 21 career games. While it isn’t Wilson’s fault that he called it a career early, he just doesn’t have the longevity of the other players on this list.
It’s a shame that this happened to such a talented young player, but on the bright side, he hasn’t given up his athletic career: he is attempting to make a living as a triple jumper in track and field.