New York Giants

New York Giants OL Weston Richburg is the Pro Bowl snub of all snubs. Along with Odell Beckham Jr, he should be traveling to Hawaii in January.

By Justin Weiss

Forget Allen Robinson, Delanie Walker and Olivier Vernon for a second.

The biggest 2015-16 NFL Pro Bowl snub is likely Weston Richburg, the New York Giants menacing 6’3″, 298 pound center who ranks highest at the position according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).

Richburg, 24, who was selected with the 43rd pick of last year’s NFL Draft, has quickly emerged as one of the league’s best centers.

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Originally asked to play out of position (guard) in 2014 due to injuries on the oline, he switched over to ball-snapper this season, replacing JD Walton, who was quite horrific with New York.

Lightly recruited in 2009 out of high school, the two-star Richburg chose Colorado State over Texas Christian University, in a class that featured Taylor Lewan and D.J. Fluker.

A prolific player in college, Richburg was a First-team All-MWC (2013), Honorable Mention All-MWC (2012) and Second-team All-MWC (2011) with the Rams.

“There’s always work to be done, always room to be better,” Richburg told Terry Frei of The Denver Post in October 2013. “I look at it that if you get complacent, that’s not good. I’m just trying to put good games together and hope that at the end of the season, I can look back and be proud of what I did.”

Richburg would surely be proud of his senior year, when he tallied 15 “knockdown” blocks and added a 90 or above grade from offensive line coach Derek Frazier in the first five games of the season.

Additionally, Richburg stood out for the following eight reasons: he had good snap-and-step quickness, was very good at getting in position, had good mobility, possessed good awareness, was energetic and quite the competitor, was extremely durable, could be a vocal team leader, and possessed natural versatility.

On the latter note:

“When they talk about my versatility, I think they’re talking about that I can play wherever they need me to play,” Richburg said before the Draft. “I think if somebody gets hurt, we have guys who are capable, but I’m able and willing to go play any position. … I’ve talked to some guys (about the NFL) and they’ve said that a guy was only a center, and he went into camp and was going against a guy who could play center and guard, and the center-only guy might be a better center than the other guy. But they’re going to keep the guy who plays guard and center, so it’s really valuable to be trying to do as much as I can.”

Since coming to the NFL, Richburg has been the most consistent lineman on the Giants’ injury-prone oline. He has played in 22 games; starting in 21 of them, and has been the highest-graded lineman by Pro Football Focus over the past two seasons.

There’s no reason for him not to be flying out to Hawaii with the rest of the Pro Bowlers.

Pro Football Focus agrees:

This is one of the better put-together Pro Bowl rosters in recent seasons, but a couple of spots still reek of the name pushing certain players over the line; at center, that is certainly the case with Alex Mack (75.6) and Mike Pouncey (78.2) getting the nod after solid seasons when others have excelled. Weston Richburg is our highest-graded center this season, equally adept as a run blocker, pass protector and even working in front of screens. Richburg has proven, with his elite play this season, that he probably should have been at center for the Giants from day one of his rookie season, and if he keeps up this level of play, the accolades will soon follow.

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Justin Weiss is a staff editor at Elite Sports New York, where he covers the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Cyclones. In 2016, he received a Quill Award for Freelance Journalism. He has written for the Long Island Herald, FanSided and YardBarker.