At a position of undervalued importance, Josh LeRibeus could be one of the more undervalued prospects. A victim of the academic rigors of Southern Methodist University, LeRibeus played the 2010 season on the practice squad as a result of classroom struggles the previous year.
Had the 6’2″ 311-pound guard enjoyed the opportunity to build on his honorable-mention All-Conference sophomore season, he could have entered the draft with a substantially higher ranking.
Still, LeRibeus displayed tremendous heart as he shed weight and returned for a successful senior campaign at guard for the Mustangs. In three years as a starter, LeRibeus consistently earned his position on the field and his newfound dedication earned his teammates’ respect in the 2010-11 offseason.
Shedding 70 pounds before last season demonstrated that LeRibeus not only possesses the internal fortitude to recognize his mistakes (as opposed to blaming teachers, coaches or teammates), but also the intensity and discipline to follow through.
With concerns about his athleticism circling, LeRibeus’ dedication to fitness not only helped him fulfill his personal goal of regaining his position on the Mustang offensive line, it also solidified his position as a quality offensive guard prospect in the 2012 draft class.
Strengths: Physical strength, determination and discipline. LeRibeus could immediately contribute at guard. Additionally, should LeRibeus struggle upon arrival, the SMU Mustang has demonstrated his character in the face of adversity and certainly would go down swinging.
Weaknesses: Scouts still question LeRibeus’ ability to engage in space, and while his comeback displayed incredible commitment and discipline, one must double-check on any student who missed a season for off-field issues—even if they’re as affable as LeRibeus.
That said, LeRibeus has the raw ability to develop into a starter or capable backup at guard, especially if he continues to approach his football career with the same dedication he showed as a senior at SMU. While his weight-room strength is above-average at 29 bench press repetitions, LeRibeus’ on-field strength makes him a potentially very nice “value” pick.
Considering the Redskins gave up the kitchen sink to get RG3 on their roster, it’s only logical they try to add some pieces to protect their investment. Sure, LeRibeus has some work to do and has to prove doubters wrong on his maturity, but his upside was obviously enough to make Washington bite.
The New Orleans Saints offense is facing tough sledding against the Baltimore Ravens, and it got tougher when left guard Josh LeRibeus exited the game with a lower leg injury. LeRibeus was only even playing after the starter, Andrus Peat, was ruled out with a head injury suffered in practice earlier this week.Weirdly, this happened minutes after the Ravens lost their own left guard, who was already filling in for the injured starter. Bradley Bozeman, a rookie out of Alabama, went down after hurting his ankle. Alex Lewis, who hadn’t missed a snap until the end of last week’s game, wasn’t cleared to play with a neck injury.
In LeRibeus’ place came second-year reserve Cameron Tom. Tom started for several years at Southern Mississippi and was well-regarded by his coaches, but mostly played center. He doesn’t have much experience at left guard, so starting him against one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL is a dicey situation.
Offensive lineman Chaz Green had not found a job since the Cowboys cut him coming out of the preseason. But the former third-round pick finally got his second chance as the Saints signed him Wednesday, according to multiple reports.
He will take the place of veteran backup offensive lineman Josh LeRibeus, who the Saints placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury. LeRibeus started three games this season in place of injured left guard Andrus Peat, who returned to practice Wednesday after missing last week’s game with a concussion.
Green played in 18 games for the Cowboys after entering the NFL, with injuries and poor play keeping him on the sideline for most of his career in Dallas.
Green started the first three games at left guard last year before Jonathan Cooper replaced him. He then started at left tackle in place of Tyron Smith against the Falcons but got benched after allowing four sacks to Adrian Clayborn.
The Saints also re-signed guard Landon Turner to the practice squad after cutting quarterback J.T. Barrett.
The Saints offense found some life in the second half of Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers, but the first half of that game and the entire Week 13 loss to the Cowboys were low points for a team that’s scored at least 30 points in nine games this season.
The unit may be getting a couple of players back from injured reserve in the near future. Head coach Sean Payton said on Monday that wide receiver Ted Ginn and offensive lineman Josh LeRibeus could be activated from injured reserve.
“Both [Ginn] and LeRiebeus have progressed, I would say, on schedule,” Payton said, via NOLA.com. “So each week we’ll look at that, we’ll talk about it during the beginning of the week, get an update from our medical team. But I’m encouraged with how both of those guys are doing.”
Ginn had knee surgery in October and is eligible to play now. He had 12 catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns in four games. LeRibeus started three of the six games he played before hurting his ankle. He’ll become eligible to play again in Week 16.