The New York Giants selected Weston Richburg Friday night in Round 2 of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Most analysts, including Jesse Bartolis of Big Blue View, anticipated that the Giants would look to bolster either their offensive or defensive line on Day 2 of the draft. Jesse's post included several of the players he felt were possibilities for the Giants in the second round, and Mocking The Draft's list of the best players still available.
Richburg was my selection for the Giants in Round 2 of the Big Blue View Community Mock Draft. With only free-agent J.D. Walton, who has not played a down since suffering a serious ankle injury early in the 2012 season, at the center position this was a pick that made sense for the Giants.
Here is what I wrote when I made the Richburg selection in the Community Mock Draft:
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.
Whether Walton works out or not, the Giants now have their center of the future in place. Richburg can also play some guard, a versatility factor the Giants always like.
Giants' general manager Jerry Reese explained the selection of Richburg this way:
"Centers are very important, a very integral part of our new offensive scheme, so obviously we brought J.D. in as a free agent but we tried to create some depth there as well and some competition," Reese said. "This guy is a really good, athletic center. He's one of those guys, one of those bonus guys. Not a lot of centers can pull, this guy can snap the ball and pull and get out on the perimeter. He was terrific. He was an ideal pick for us, a clean pick."
Here is what SB Nation's Colorado State blog, Mountain West Connection, wrote upon hearing the news that the Giants had selected Richburg:
Richburg was a main reason that the Colorado State's running game was amazing with Kapri Bibbs rushing for over 30 touchdowns, and getting to a bowl game. Also, what makes Richburg standout as a center is that he was asked to pull at times and he did that well, and he was a four-year starter for Colorado State.
Here is part of what 'Invictus' wrote in his Richburg prospect profile:
Richburg fits right in. He's got the movement skills and pass protection ability to be a starter at the next level for this team.
Here is what SI.com said about the pick:
The Giants signed J.D. Walton to a two-year deal earlier this offseason, but Walton has not played since 2012. In other words, the Giants had to add a center to compete for the gig at some point. Richburg fits the bill and then some. He can play in the middle or kick out to guard and hold his own there, so the Giants should be able to get him on the field early.
Several players who may have interested the Giants came off the board before they selected. Guard Xavier Su'a-Filo (33rd, Houston Texans), offensive lineman Joel Bitonio (35th, Cleveland Browns), defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman (37th, Atlanta Falcons), tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (38th, Tampa Bay Buccaneers), linebacker Kye Van Noy (40th, Detroit Lions)
The Giants selected LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. on Thursday night with their first-round selection, 12th overall.
- Panthers' GM lauds Beckham's route-running
- Fans, analysts weigh in with opinions of Beckham selection
- Reese: Couldn't pass up 'dynamic' Beckham
- Beckham Jr. calls Giants 'perfect situation'
- Instant Analysis of the Beckham selection
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