- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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The New England Patriots hold private workouts with hundreds of prospects leading into the NFL draft, so there is reluctance to read too much into those workouts.
The most accurate analysis would be that the workouts indicate that the team is still seeking more information on a prospect; sometimes it can lead to genuine interest or to confirm interest, while other times it can lead the team in another direction.
Along these lines, Colorado State center Weston Richburg popped up on the radar late last week after it was learned the Patriots put him through one of their many private workouts, this one coming in Fort Collins, Colo.
Richburg, at 6-foot-3 3/8 and 298 pounds, is one of the higher-rated centers in the draft, according to Scouts Inc. He's projected as a second-to-third-round pick.
A closer look at Richburg reveals a few things that are sure to appeal to the Patriots:
1. He made the line calls and has good football intelligence.
2. Has played games at center, guard and tackle, highlighting his athleticism and versatility.
3. He appears to fit best in a zone-blocking scheme, which is what the Patriots primarily utilize.
4. He played 49 career games.
5. He is a two-time team captain.
The Patriots re-signed their starting center from the last two seasons, Ryan Wendell, to a two-year deal in March. But the expectation has been that Wendell can expect competition, and perhaps it will come in the form of Richburg.
At the least, the Patriots wanted to get a closer look to consider the possibility.