The Giants second round selection of Colorado State Center Weston Richburg wasn't flashy, but inherently necessary. It should be immediately acknowledged that Weston Richburg is not going to blow anyone away with his NFL combine results. He is virtually average or below average in almost every category, including the bench press and the 20 yard shuttle. That being said, he is exactly the type of offensive lineman the Giants desire and have reaped benefits from. Richburg's irreplaceable positive quality which made him attractive to the Giants is his experience as a leader. He was a four year starter at Colorado State, and in his senior year was appointed captain. Even more vital to the Giants is Richburg's presence in transforming the identity of a football program.
In Richburg's freshman season, Colorado State won just three games, and in his last, they won eight, including a bowl game victory over Washington State. This ability to be a leader of a once struggling program and subsequently leading them to prestige is a key characteristic of the Giants' philosophy when piecing together an offensive line both devoid of talent and leaders last season.
When analyzing Richburg's fit on the Giants, his addition could not be more seamless. A team devoid of leadership, experience and talent along the offensive line gains a player who provides all three aspects and has the ability to contribute immediately. As past seasons have shown, the Giants have produced solid foundational pieces at multiple positions along the offensive line. Longtime Giants mainstay Will Beatty was once thought of by the Giants as a long term project, yet he was soon developed into one of the most versatile offensive lineman in the NFL.
Fans only has to look to last season's draft to see the Giants prowess when selecting offensive lineman. Justin Pugh was an average rated offensive tackle from Syracuse, who in just one season has established himself as the future right tackle for the Giants going forward.
Much like Maurkice Pouncey did for the Steelers after losing chunks of their once formidable offensive line such as Alan Faneca, Richburg will be walking into a situation where he can make an immediate impact. Additionally, both Pouncey and Richburg have showcased the ability to lead in their respective situations, and each understands the principal of personal sacrifice to ensure team success. Pouncey was a key piece during the University of Florida's football dominance, winning two national championships, despite consistently taking a backseat to Tim Tebow.
At this stage of course, it is impossible to compare Richburg to Pouncey on solely tangible football accolades, yet from a leadership and experience perspective, there are multiple similarities which make this comparison appropriate.
When projecting Richburg's full potential, he has the talent to become another mainstay and a key cog in the transformation of the Giants line from pushover to physical. There will be nothing flashy about him, yet he simply will come to work prepared, and do his job.
Where will that leave him with the Giants organization three years from now? Nobody knows, but the Giants relish having players who have an innate leadership quality and truly embrace the concept of team. Ultimately, this pick can prove to be the most valuable of the Giants 2014 draft. Sure, the combine statistics say he is "average", yet stats don't tell the whole story. The Giants breed leaders, yet in this case, they don't need to because they already have one.