The New York Giants are, presumably, set at the offensive guard position. There is still the belief that Will Hernandez can be a top flight guard in the NFL and can get his development back on track with a new offensive line coach. The team also invested heavily in Kevin Zeitler and he is under contract for the next two seasons.
But what about after 2021? Both Hernandez and Zeitler are scheduled to be free agents, and it would behoove the Giants to have a plan in place for the position so they don’t have to scramble to rebuild the offensive line again. It would make sense for the Giants to look at mid-round guard prospects they can develop and insert into their line with the minimum of pain. The next question to answer would be what kind of blocking scheme do they anticipate using?
If the Giants want to use a scheme based on man/gap and inside zone principles, there are few prospects better equipped to execute it than Oregon guard Shane Lemieux.
Prospect: Shane Lemieux, G, Oregon
Games Watched: vs. Auburn (2019), vs. Colorado (2019), vs Washington (2019), vs Utah (2019)
Red Flags: None
Games Played: 52 (52 starts)
Best: Strength, power, hand usage, run blocking, experience
Worst: Athleticism, range
Projection: A starting guard on an offense which uses man/gap principles and a power run game.
Oregon left guard Shane Lemieux is guard prospect with a large frame and rare strength and power for the position. Lemieux reacts well to the snap and is always quick to get into his rep. Lemieux is a reliable pass protector in man situations, with enough functional athleticism to mirror most interior rushers. He has rare play strength and is able to easily anchor against power rushes without giving much, if any, ground and he is also easily able to redirect speed rushers around the pocket. Lemieux is easily able to deal with stunts and twists, passing defenders off to his teammates well.
Lemieux is a very good run blocker, particularly in power run designs. He has enough athleticism to execute inside zone concepts and the power to create movement along the line of scrimmage in man blocking schemes. Lemieux has very good competitive toughness and run blocks with a mauler’s mentality. He seemingly craves contact and goes hunting for work on running plays. Lemieux has very good grip strength and once he is able to secure a block, he is able to sustain it.
Lemieux lacks athleticism outside of a short area. He is a functional puller but a lack of long speed limits his range and ability to get in front of plays. Lemieux can also struggle with balance when he needs to navigate around the line of scrimmage. Lemieux’s base can narrow and hips rise in pass protection when faced with speed. The loss of leverage can somewhat compromise his power, and he is prone to stopping his feet and lunging.
Lemieux can also have what seem to be concentration lapses on longer reps, failing to pick up late pressure or delayed blitzes.
Overall Grade: 6.2 - Has athletic and scheme limitations which could limit him to being a back-up at the NFL level, but could earn a starting job in the right situation. A late Day 2 or early Day 3 value. [Grading Scale]
Shane Lemieux has the potential to earn a job as a starting guard in a power-based scheme in the NFL. He has rare strength for the position, and is capable of tossing defensive linemen around like rag dolls. Lemieux does not have great scheme versatility and is likely best in a blocking scheme that mixes man/gap and inside zone concepts. Where he is drafted will likely be determined by which teams need his particular skill set most. Lemieux will likely be valued more highly by teams that use power-based blocking schemes.
He has functional athleticism, but shouldn’t be asked to play in space or block a large range often. Lemieux is a very experienced lineman, starting 52 consecutive games for the Ducks, which also speaks to his durability and availability. He worked well with his linemates and they functioned well as a cohesive unit.