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Giants pick Colorado State center Weston Richburg in second round of NFL draft

Colorado State offensive linesman Weston Richburg looks on

Colorado State offensive linesman Weston Richburg looks on against Colorado during the second half of an NCAA game Sunday Sept. 1, 2013, in Denver. Credit: AP

No one outside the organization has seen what Ben McAdoo's new offense will look like. But through the NFL draft, we're starting to get some clues about the tendencies, philosophies and leanings of the Giants' new coordinator.

Friday night's second-round tea leaf revealed an interesting change from the old way of doing things. The Giants selected Weston Richburg, a center from Colorado State, with the 43rd overall pick, showing that more emphasis will be put on the cerebral capabilities of that position than were previously shouldered.

It sounds as if less will be asked of Eli Manning at the line of scrimmage when it comes to protections, freeing him to make broader changes on the fly.

"Centers are very important, a very integral part of our new offensive scheme," general manager Jerry Reese said shortly after picking Richburg. "The new coordinator likes the center to be very involved with some of the protection scheme things, and this guy is really smart. He was outstanding when we interviewed him at the combine, so he fits the mold of what we want, besides being a very good football player."

Added coach Tom Coughlin, "The center position is one of responsibility. This guy will fit right in."

The Giants often have preferred to have an experienced snapper in front of Manning, whether it was Shaun O'Hara, Rich Seubert or David Baas. Richburg would be a departure from that type of player.

Richburg will compete with veteran J.D. Walton, a recent free-agent addition who has missed most of the last two seasons because of injury. Richburg also has the versatility to back up Chris Snee at guard if Snee is unable to finish the season.

"Last year we had a couple injuries early on the offensive line and it was pretty devastating," Reese said. "We're trying to make sure we have enough depth at every position. This guy will help provide that for us."

While the Giants were more enamored of Richburg's brains, they do like his brawn as well. Reese noted Richburg's long arms and the ability to snap the ball and pull, something not many centers are capable of doing. Coughlin was impressed that Richburg broke his snapping hand in 2011 and didn't miss a start, playing guard and tackle and even snapping lefthanded to stay on the field.

In the third round, with the 74th overall pick, the Giants selected defensive tackle Jay Bromley of Syracuse. The 285-pounder will help replace the void left by the departure of Linval Joseph in free agency.


Rolle challenges DRC

Antrel Rolle challenged new cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to play to his potential with the Giants. "I still don't feel like he has shown what he can truly be in this league, which is one of the best corners in the NFL," Rolle said. "I've played the corner position. I've been around several corners and I know the talents and athleticism he brings to the game. He's freakish . . . Now he needs to show how good he can be." . . . Tackle Justin Pugh thinks first-round pick Odell Beckham Jr. will be able to make an immediate impact in the Giants' new scheme. "I think with the offense we're going to be running next year, he'll be a perfect fit,'' Pugh said. Pugh, last year's first-round pick, gave Beckham some advice on being the top selection. "I told him when he throws out his first pitch at Yankee Stadium to make sure he doesn't go in the dirt." . . . In an interview on WFAN, Reese said running back David Wilson is participating fully in the offseason program after undergoing neck surgery. He is optimistic that the 2012 first-round pick will be able to play but said Wilson has not been cleared for contact.

With Bob Glauber

New York Sports