Although the New York Giants spent a second-round pick on center Weston Richburg, they've made absolutely no guarantees about him coming in and immediately starting for the team. If anything, it would appear on the surface as if he was selected as a development talent behind J.D. Walton, whom the Giants signed to a surprisingly large contract earlier in the offseason.
Still, Richburg was the highest rated center in the 2014 NFL Draft and widely considered to be "pro-ready." But he dismissed that chatter on Tuesday, admitting that he's coming in and starting from scratch with Big Blue; that any sort of playing time he gets this season will have to be earned.
"I don’t know if anybody’s pro-ready because the players are so much better and faster and stronger. I think there are some people that are more well-prepared than others," Richburg said. "I’m coming in, I’m going to work hard just like I did in college and treat it like I did then. I’m going to have to earn what I want to get. That’s kind of my mindset right now."
But with such a hefty investment, the Giants may need to find another way to draw some value out of him in the event Walton does win the starting job at center heading into the regular season. It's for that reason the team has also informed Richburg that he'll be getting some snaps at guard in an attempt to yield a bit more versatility out of their second-rounder.
"I was told I’d be in at guard a couples times but it’s only been a week. That will come. I’m just focused on learning everything right now," he said.
Of course, Richburg could still win the starting job at center — something General Manager Jerry Reese admitted was very possible — and that kind of competition is welcomed by Walton, who believes it will only bring out the best in each of them.
"Any team I'm on, I'm going to bust my butt. Just from stuff I've done in the past, I'm expecting myself to start," Walton said. "Nothing wrong with competition. He's a good kid. That elevates everyone's play."
Walton added that he's 100% healthy and has no reservations going into the 2014 season.
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