Weston Richburg   OC   Colorado St

TALENT BOARD ROUND 3

STRENGTHS
Weston has excellent quickness out of his stance and in moving his feet to gain leverage when pass blocking or run blocking. He is quick and can easily go out to the second level to block linebackers. He can make all the snaps and shows on film to possess strong leadership qualities. He has “in the box quickness” that is rare for a player his size and his foot speed makes it easy for him to recover when he gets beat in pass blocking. He can turn his hips and push his man up the field allowing his quarterback to slide in the pocket and extend a play. Weston has the athleticism and size you see in some fullbacks, which is a positive as far as using him on the move as a pulling center, a center that can get out on sweeps and screens and as I said before, going to the second level and blocking linebackers.

CONCERNS
Although Weston is athletic for his position, he is also undersized and can be handled. He gets little movement with his straight ahead blocking because he is not stout or strong in his lower body. His stance is poor, leaving his chest open to his opponent looking a bit like a frog sitting on a lily pad. He is good at picking up blitzing linebackers, but struggles to control them once he is engaged. Weston is a good pass blocker and uses his hands well but he struggles to stay with his blocks because of a lack in techniques in his footwork. He has lateral agility, but seems to struggle with his balance when using his lateral agility. I’m not sure why because he has quick feet, but when he is engaged seems to stop moving his feet and lunges, losing his balance. This doesn’t happen when he first engages, only the longer he has to sustain the block and on sweeps…very strange. Unless Weston can straighten out his lower body mechanics and stay on balance on sweeps and get better movement off the line when blocking in the running game, he will be the type of center teams are always looking to replace.

BOTTOM LINE
As impressive as Weston is athletically, being undersized and lacking the lower body strength and body type to get movement when run blocking is a big concern. His stance bothers me for the next level. He lowers his chest slightly when he is going to run block and it’s very open when he is going to pass block, but once again, his athleticism at the college level compensated for that. There is a lot of talent to work with and I think teams that go up against a lot of 4-3 defense in their division will be interested in selecting Weston earlier than teams that go up against a lot of 3-4 defense. Weston is what I call a good move center. That means, keep him on the move and he can be a pretty good blocker, but have him go up against an opponent one-on-one and he will get handled. If you’re thinking of selecting Weston, understand that your running game will struggle to run between the tackles with consistency unless you can get Weston moving, pulling around a guard and use him like a fullback is used. I’m not convinced he will ever have the lower body strength to move those big bodies in front of him and still keep his agility to be a consistent pass blocker. There are a lot of centers in the draft and although Weston is the most athletic, I’m not sure how well that athleticism will transfer to the next level and impact. Nevertheless, you have to admire his quickness and other intangibles that give him the potential to become a solid on the move center for the team that selects him.

Drew Boylhart
APR/2014