Former Rams Richburg and Gillmore headed East; Barrett, Bibbs sign with Broncos

Two former Colorado State teammates will play on separate teams for the first time in nearly decade while two others will continue their football careers together with the Denver Broncos.

Former Colorado State linebacker Shaquil Barrett, 56, will continue his football career with the Denver Broncos after signing a free-agent contract with the team early Saturday evening.
Former Colorado State linebacker Shaquil Barrett, 56, will continue his football career with the Denver Broncos after signing a free-agent contract with the team early Saturday evening.

What began with former Ram center Weston Richburg being selected with the No. 43 overall pick by the New York Giants ended with teammates Kapri Bibbs and Shaquil Barrett signing free-agent contracts to stay in the same state where they completed outstanding college careers. In between, tight end Crockett Gillmore became the second native of Bushland, Texas to be drafted into the NFL, getting selected by the Baltimore Ravens with the No. 99 overall pick, just a few hours after Richburg became the first.

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Richburg, who started a school-record 50 consecutive games, became Colorado State’s 100th player picked in the annual draft and their first since fellow offenslive lineman Shelley Smith in 2010. He is also only the ninth Ram player to be selected in the first two rounds, and the highest overall pick since quarterback Kelly Stouffer was selected sixth overall by  the Arizona Cardinals in 1987.

“I couldn’t be more excited to snap to Eli Manning,” Richburg said of playing with the two-time Super Bowl champion. “I’m truly honored to have an opportunity to play for such a successful organization.”

Gillmore, a teammate of Richburg’s both in high school and at CSU, had 111 catches for 1,308 yards and eight touchdowns in 46 games as a Ram. He will also head to the East Coast, nearly 1,600 miles from where he grew up. As a senior, Gillmore was first-team All-Mountain West in 2013 and received an invite to the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl. Gillmore led all Mountain West tight ends and ranked ninth in the NCAA in receiving yards this past season.

“He’s a guy that I thought for sure would have a great opportunity because he is one of those rare tight ends that can play with his hand down and block and has great ball skills,” McElwain said in a statement. “The Ravens got a great player.”

Things were a little more nerve-racking for Bibbs and Barrett however. Both projected as late-round picks, it wasn’t until former Memphis safety Lonnie Ballentine was picked with the 256th and final pick that the duo realized their names wouldn’t be called. However, both players were in contact with multiple teams immediately following the conclusion of the draft and signed with the Broncos within minutes of each other.

It was also announced Sunday that former Ram cornerback Shaq Bell will be attending the New Orleans Saints’ rookie mini-camp this spring.

Collegian Reporter Keegan Pope can be reached at sports@collegian.com and on Twitter @kpopecollegian.