2014 Training Camp Battles: JD Walton vs. Weston Richburg
Written by Marco Imperati
Days away from the Giants 2014 training camp, most question marks surrounding the offensive line are pointed at left tackle where the team will watch to see if Will Beatty could regain form and solidify a line that was the teams weakness last year.
An intriguing battle that has flown under the radar is for the starting center position. The two players that will be competing for the starting position are 4th year veteran, JD Walton and rookie, Weston Richburg.
Walton was an interesting free agent acquisition for the Giants. He broke his ankle as a starting center for the Denver Broncos in week 4 of the 2012 season and was forced to miss all of last season. During his time with Denver, Walton started 36 consecutive games to begin his career which includes playing every snap in 2011 and helped the team lead the NFL with a franchise-record 2,632 rushing yards, according to the Denver Broncos website
Healthy now, he is looking to lock down the starting position and bring continuity to the offensive line that has been missing for two years.
The athletic Richburg was drafted in the 2nd round out of Colorado State. The Giants like him at both center and guard. He will practice and learn both positions in camp to protect the team in case of injuries. General Manager Jerry Reese stated to the New York Daily News after the draft “the rookie would be given a chance to start right away.” Richburg said he expects to see action at both center and guard in the coming days, a move that should help insulate the Giants against the injuries that tore their line apart in 2013.
If Walton wins the starting center position, Richburg will be thrust into a competition with 3 year lineman, Brandon Mosely. Veteran Chris Snee is the big question mark here. Although there are options at right guard, the Giants want Snee to be healthy and will give him every opportunity to go into the season at 100 percent. Snee is coming off hip surgery and an injured elbow.