The Green Bay Packers and their first-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft have been tied to a number of players, mostly the usual candidates at inside linebacker and safety and a few receivers and tight ends.
A surprise possibility might be Colorado State center Weston Richburg.
According to Tony Pauline of Draft Insider, the Packers are one of three teams being whispered to have interest in Richburg in the first round. The two others are the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, who attempted to sign center Alex Mack this offseason, are in play at the start of the second round.
Pauline reports Richburg is "drawing comparisons" to Pro Bowl center Nick Mangold, thanks to his smarts, athleticism and technique.
The Packers are likely in the market for a center. Evan Dietrich-Smith, who started all 16 games at center for Green Bay last sesaon, signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency. The Packers remain high on 2013 fourth-round pick J.C. Tretter, and Don Barclay might have the ability to move inside to center, but the position is far from settled.
A four-year starter at Colorado State, Richburg played center, left tackle and guard. His last 26 starts all came at center, and his 50 career starts are a school record. He stands 6'3" and weighs 298 pounds.
Richburg's line versatility and experience at center make him an attractive possibility. While Ted Thompson has only drafted one pure center (Junius Coston) since 2005, he's proven his affinity for versatile lineman who have tackle experience. Richburg fits the bill.
Photo courtesy of Colorado State athletic department.
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