NEW MEXICO BOWL
(The Toro Times will preview every college football bowl game, taking a look at the potential prospects in the bowl games that could be drafted by the Houston Texans in the May 2014 NFL Draft.)
The 2014 Gildan New Mexico Bowl will be played on Saturday, Dec. 21 in Albuquerque, N.M. at 2 p.m. EDT on ESPN.
The game features Washington State (6-6, 4-5 Pac-12) and Colorado State (7-6, 5-3, Mountain West Conference).
As for this game, how could it eventually affect the Houston Texans, you might ask? For starters, this game features six players from CSU listed on the CBS Sports 2014 Draft Board, including center Weston Richburg, a redshirt senior that could be drafted in the second or third round.
Richburg stands at 6-4 and weighs 302 pounds, and he’s the No. 2 ranked center in the draft.
The redshirt senior has started 49 consecutive games the past four seasons, including 13 this season and 12 in each of the previous seasons.
He was voted first-team All-Mountain West and is part of an offensive line that is averaging 461.2 yards per game, including a rushing game that averages 202.7 ypg.
A fun fact about the offensive line Richburg is the captain of: They are the lone offensive line in NCAA FBS to have a 3,200-yard passer and 1,500 yard rusher in 2013.
Mel Kiper on the ESPN Insider page wrote about Richburg:
“A big reason the Colorado State run game has been so good … he showed how good he is against Bama.”
Currently, the Texans have two centers on the roster in nine-year veteran Chris Myers, who is the most durable offensive lineman in the league and possibly the NFL. The other is second-year player Ben Jones, who has started one game on the o-line this season.
Myers has 135 consecutive starts as an offensive lineman (110 as center).
It is no secret the Texans’ pass rush is really bad right now, as it has caused problems for the offense all season long, especially the quarterbacks on the roster.
Who knows … if the Texans want to draft Richburg in the third round if available, he could be groomed to possibly take the place of Myers as next year will be his 10th NFL season.
Plus, maybe getting competition within the offensive line could help produce better results for the team.