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Giants at Rams: Match-Up To Watch - Weston Richburg vs. Aaron Donald

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If Weston Richburg finds himself facing Aaron Donald, how will he fare?

Aaron Donald
Aaron Donald
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

On May 7th of 2014 there were essentially three camps among New York Giants' fans: Those who wanted the Giants to draft offensive lineman Zack Martin out of Notre Dame, those who wanted the Giants to draft tight end Eric Ebron out of North Carolina, and those who wanted the Giants to draft defensive tackle Aaron Donald out of Pittsburgh.

Of course, almost all of us were wrong and Jerry Reese selected Odell Beckham Jr. out of LSU.

Donald was selected by the St. Louis Rams with the very next pick.

As it turns out, there wasn't a wrong answer there. Odell Beckham has turned out to be an electrifying offensive weapon and the front-runner for Offensive Rookie Of The Year, while Aaron Donald has become a dangerous pass rusher and the front-runner for Defensive Rookie Of The Year.

In the second round the Giants addressed their offensive line with center Weston Richburg from Colorado State.

While Beckham is always a "Must Watch" on offense, if there is one single match-up to watch between the Giants and Rams, it is between the two highly-drafted rookie linemen. Though Pittsburgh and Colorado State never played each other while Donald and Richburg were in school, this won't be the first time the two have faced each other. Both players were on the North squad for the Senior Bowl, and faced each other in practices.

While it was only practice, both players generated a buzz, particularly when they faced off.

In a report from our own Mocking The Draft, Dan Kadar said:

Colorado State center Weston Richburg continued his strong week of practices with another standout showing on Wednesday. Richburg is lightning quick out of his snap stance and into his blocking stance. He uses that quickness to get leverage and make up for the power advantage defensive linemen have against him. He's been the only player who can block Donald this week.

Richburg's rookie year hasn't been nearly as sterling as Donald's. He gained a starting job, but it was as the left guard, not his natural center position. All season long Richburg has looked like exactly what he is: A talented rookie playing out of position. His athleticism and skill have been on display, but he has also gotten overwhelmed by bigger, stronger defensive tackles. But despite a few "rookie moments", his play has been trending upwards since being benched a few weeks ago.

Given how defensive linemen rotate, move around the front, stunt and twist, there is no way to tell how often the two rookies will line up across from each other. How the two units, the Giants offensive line and the Rams' defensive line, hold up as whole will go a long way to determining the outcome of Sunday's game.