While many feel Eli Manning deserved a trip to Hawaii, an even bigger omission from the Pro Bowl roster comes from the man directly in front of him. Center Weston Richburg had a phenomenal season at center and won’t be heading to the Pro Bowl along with Odell Beckham Jr.
Not only was Richburg not named to the Pro Bowl roster, he wasn’t even named an alternate. Kicker Josh Brown and return-specialist Dwayne Harris were the only other Giants given that honor. Richburg is the highest-rated center by Pro Football Focus ahead of all four centers named to the Pro Bowl.
Richburg was the Giants second-round pick in 2014; their first round pick, of course, was OBJ. He played at guard last season, but moved back to his natural position at center this season. Considering 2015 was his first NFL season at the position, it’s remarkable he was able to perform so well in both run blocking and pass defense.
Richburg showed some maturity for a second-year player addressing the media on his snubbing. “I told myself I wasn’t going to be disappointed,’’ Richburg said Wednesday. “I feel nobody really knows who I am. Maybe because it’s my first year at center. I feel I played well enough. My main focus is contributing to my team. That’s going to be my first and foremost priority.’’
Name recognition was likely the deciding factor in losing out on a Pro Bowl nod. The Giants performance this season certainly didn’t play a part. Three of the four centers named to the Pro Bowl come from losing teams. Ryan Kalil of the Panthers is the only Pro Bowl center heading to the playoffs.
Richburg, while he won’t be making a trip to Hawaii, is still focused on the success of the Giants. First-round picks Justin Pugh (2013) and Ereck Flowers (2015), along with Richburg, make up a young nucleus that should protect Eli Manning for years to come.