Cleveland Browns Preview: Is Shawn Lauvao the Complete Package at Right Guard?
Shawn Lauvao was the Browns third round pick from Arizona State in the 2010 NFL Draft. Lauvao played left tackle in college, but is being groomed as a smashmouth starting guard on the Browns offensive line.
Lauvao was selected with the 92nd overall selection, or the one obtained from the New York Jets in the Braylon Edwards trade.
As a left tackle in at Arizona State, he earned Second Team All Pac-10 and helped the offensive line lower the sack total from 34 to 27 in one year.
He is one smart lineman who already has a bachelors degree and is six to nine credits short of a masters degree. How many potential path clearing guards have that type of intellect?
Therefore, learning the Browns pass protection and run blocking schemes should be a breeze for this heady Hawaiian.
Once he adapts to the new terminology and communication along the line, he should be on an even playing field with the other contenders for the right guard spot.
Lauvao, 6'3" and 315 lbs, competes in strongman competitions for fun, and in 2005, won Hawaii's Strongest Teen Competition. This cerebral strongman can bench 500 lbs, squat 675 lbs, and clean 350 lbs.
The other contenders for the right guard position include former Bengal and eight year veteran Scott Kooistra, versatile veteran and Mangini favorite Floyd "Pork Chop" Womack, and veteran free agent signing Tony Pashos.
Womack and Pashos are also in the mix at right tackle, meaning Lauvao may only have to beat out two of the above. Lauvao has been cross-training at both guard positions and center too.
Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Tony Grossi puts his paycheck on Lauvao stating, "Lauvao is big, strong, smart, and agile. What's not to like about that for an offensive lineman? Veteran Floyd Womack offers stiff competition at right guard, but my money is on Lauvao, barring something unforseen."
I agree wholeheartedly with Grossi about Lauvao's attributes and Womack's ability, but I think he fails to recognize the possibility of Kooistra and Pashos playing right guard.
Pashos is a big, 6'6", 326 lbs, and burly road mauler who may be better suited to guard than tackle. He has slow feet and is a better run blocker than pass protector.
Kooistra is also huge at 6'6" and 335 lbs, and is massive and a powerful run blocker. He is not very athletic, has difficulty with explosive defenders, and is an average pass protector.
Womack on the other hand is versatile, has worked at every position along the line, is a road grader of a run blocker, and a solid pass defender who may end up at right tackle.
Lauvao's experience playing left tackle in college has likely provided him with better feet and agility than his competition.
The kid has it all and it's an endearing package. Lauvao is intelligent, brutally strong, reasonably agile, and has a constant desire to better himself, borne out in his academic endeavours and strongman competitions.
If the veterans falter for a second in training camp, this impressive rookie may slip nimbly by on the way to opening day.
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