2014 BBV Community Mock Draft: Weston Richburg choice for Giants at 43

Weston Richburg - Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Weston Richburg is the choice for the Giants in the second round of the Big Blue View Community Mock Draft.

Sometimes being a decision-maker can be a lonely, unpopular position to be in. To have the courage of your convictions and do what you believe is right, you occasionally have to do what everyone around you is advising you NOT to do. Such is the case with the 43rd overall selection of the 2014 Big Blue View Community Mock Draft, where my choice for the Giants is Colorado State center Weston Richburg.

Let me start here in my explanation. I also faced a very similar choice in the SB Nation Bloggers Mock Draft, and I reached out to the draft analysts around me for their opinions. 'Invictus' told me not to do this. 'Raptor' told me not to do this. Dan Kadar of Mocking The Draft told me not to do this.

I won't spoil the choice I made in the ongoing Bloggers' Mock Draft, since it has not been posted yet. In this mock, though, I am sticking to my conviction that the Giants absolutely have to come out of this draft with a starting-caliber center -- especially one who could prove capable of being able to play as a rookie.

As many wonderful things as general manager Jerry Reese has accomplished in free agency this offseason, the most questionable decision Reese made was to hand free-agent center J.D. Walton a two-year, $5 million contract and pencil him in as the starting center. Walton was not good as the starter for the Denver Broncos in 2010 and 2011, began to show improvement in 2012, but suffered a serious ankle injury four games into the season and has not appeared in a regular-season game since.

Walton might work out just fine, but counting on it without a safety net is a huge risk. As of now, the Giants don't really a Plan B at the position. In fact, there isn't even a second center listed on the current roster.

When I look at the draft board, Richburg and Marcus Martin of USC are the only two centers most analysts believe to be sure-fire starters at the NFL level. Admittedly, others study the draft in greater depth than I do but Richburg has long been my favorite among the center prospects in this draft. I believe taking him here is the only way to ensure getting him. Kadar told me "the third is the sweet spot for centers," but I simply don't believe Richburg -- the Day 2 player I really want -- will be there when the Giants select in the third round, 74th overall. Witness this from Draft Insider Tony Pauline, written earlier this week:

Last year, prior to the combine, I mentioned Travis Frederick was being whispered about as the surprise pick of round one (found here in the April 12th notes). After his combine workout (has he completed the forty yet?) I never bothered to follow up. Foolish me. This year I'm told another center, Weston Richburg of Colorado State, (scouting report) could be the surprise pick in round one. Its a thin class at the center position and the feeling is if you need one Richburg is the guy and you better grab him early. His smart, athletic and fundamentally sound play is drawing comparisons to Pro-Bowl center Nick Mangold. Who would take Richburg at the end of the first frame? I'm told for a variety of reasons keep an eye on the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots and Denver Broncos. The Jacksonville Jaguars are candidates for Richburg at the top of round two.

I get that the Giants have other areas of need. It is tempting to select a tight end like Austin Seferian-Jenkins of Washington or Troy Niklas of Notre Dame here, or to grab a wide receiver like Davante Adams of Fresno State. In a draft filled with receiving depth I believe, however, that quality receiving options will still be available for the Giants in the third or fourth rounds -- maybe not guys who could be No. 1 receivers, but big, solid targets for Eli Manning.

I also get that this pick means I have now used both of my picks here (offensive tackle Taylor Lewan in Round 1) on offensive linemen. Obviously, I'm perfectly OK with that. After quarterback, you build a successful football team from inside out. All the receivers in the world do you no good if your quarterback is flat on his back, or worse yet, having his ankle surgically put back together.

In his prospect profile of Richburg, 'Invictus' wrote that the Colorado State center "should be a high value target for the Giants" and that he will be "highly coveted." 'Invictus,' though, sees Richburg as more of a late-second to third-round player.

This pick, along with Lewan (or even Zack Martin of Notre Dame if you wanted to go that way in Round 1) and Justin Pugh gives the Giants three players who could anchor the offensive line for the next 8-10 years. For me, there's nothing about that not to like.

I know you have an opinion of my choice here. I will be waiting to hear it.

Round 1

1.

'56 4life'

Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina [Full Story]

2.

'BigBlueWreckingYou' Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson [Full Story]

3.

'NYG 28' Blake Bortles, QB, UCF [Full Story]

4.

'NewYork!' Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M [Full Story]

5.

'Giants_Fan4Life' Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo [Full Story]

6.

'parksy52' Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn [Full Story]

7.

'nyg25' Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M [Full Story]

8.

'ad3lm0' Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville [Full Story]

9.

Bigbluethruandthru Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina [Full Story]

10.

'Wangstu13' Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh [Full Story]

11.

'Larry Soprano' Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State [Full Story]

12.

Ed V. Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan [Full Story]

13.

'BigBlueWreckingYou' Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame [Full Story]

14.

'jagyossarian' Hasean Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama [Full Story]

15.

'ross_stephen' Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State [Full Story]

16.

'pataroons' Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M [Full Story]

17.

'derekturner356' Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA [Full Story]

18.

'Jonathan' Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU [Full Story]

19.

'gobs10' Xavier Su'a-Filo, OG, UCLA [Full Story]

20.

'jensvoigt' Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State [Full Story]

21.

'ct17' C.J. Mosley, MLB, Alabama [Full Story]

22.

'RevengeOfTheBlackshirts' Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State [Full Story]

23.

'dviswr20' Marqise Lee, WR, USC [Full Story]

24.

'Freedmad25' Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri [Full Story]

25.

'Giantsstep' Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech [Full Story]

26.

'GiantBuckeye' Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama [Full Story]

27.

'The Curse' Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State [Full Story]

28.

'TurnandCoughlin' Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia [Full Story]

29.

'drizzzy' Dee Ford, DE, Auburn [Full Story]

30.

49ersb_logo.gif" /> 'zobster' Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State [Full Story]

31.

'Tundra89' Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State [Full Story]

32.

'TNYFBG' Ra'shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota [Full Story]

Round 2

1. (33)

'56 4life' A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama

2. (34)

'Raptor22' Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville

3. (35)

'BrooklynNets8' Jimmy Garappolo, QB, Eastern Illinois

4. (36)

'Markfg' Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State

5. (37)

'otrd13'

Jeremiah Attaochu, DE/LB, Georgia Tech

6. (38)

'njnas' Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech

7. (39)

'JT91' Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame

8. (40)

'NYGCHOSENJUAN' David Yankey, OG, Stanford

9. (41)

'Dravs13' Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU

10. (42)

'Larry Soprano' Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State

11. (43)

Ed V. Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State

12. (44)

'grandblue'

13. (45)

'Wangstu13'

14. (46)

'ross_stephen'

15. (47)

'pataroons'

16. (48)

'Tyree's Helmet'

17. (49)

'GBOUTON'

18. (50)

'pinkpantherjr'

19. (51)

'Omega123'

20. (52)

'jensvoigt'

21. (53)

'ct17'

22. (54)

'RevengeOfTheBlackshirts'

23. (55)

'kayjay'

24. (56)

'49ers'

25. (57)

'Giantsstep'

26. (58)

'The Curse'

27. (59)

'Ejaay'

28. (60)

'TurnandCoughlin'

29. (61)

'49ers'

30. (62)

'rudy2930'

31. (63)

'dudemanimus'

32. (64)

'TNYFBG'

This is the only pick we will run today. With Sunday being Easter it is possible we won't run more picks until Monday. Regardless, this pick probably gives you something to argue about for a while.

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