Shane Lemiuex isn’t ready to be a starting OG and should NOT be getting significant playing time. Lemiuex took over the LG spot in Week 8 and has allowed the 3rd MOST pressures (24) of any guard and 8th MOST of an offensive linemen in the league since Week 8.
There’s not much to be excited about Lemieux in the running game either. He’s currently graded as the team’s worst run blocker by PFF with a 44.4, which is also the 4th worst grade among all guards.
While Will Hernandez has also stunk this season, he hasn’t been as bad as Lemieux. It’s also important to note that Hernandez struggles came before Joe Judge took on more work with the line and the Giants fired OL Coach Marc Colombo. Since then, we have seen at least a marginal improvement in each member of the offensive line. The biggest improvements came from Nick Gates and Kevin Zeitler, who have both been playing extremely well over the course of the second half of the season. It makes you wonder if Hernandez would also have improved with the coaching change.
I understand why a bad football team is playing a rookie guard. Clearly, Hernandez isn’t the answer at guard. The Giants gave Lemieux a chance to grow in a season where the team isn’t winning anything meaningful (a division title at 6-10 isn’t meaningful). And now you know going into next season that you can’t rely on Lemieux as a starting option. You need to bring in another guard to compete with Lemieux, especially if you don’t have any faith in Hernandez. Hopefully Lemieux can take steps forward this offseason and turn into a competent guard – but the Giants shouldn’t rely on that to happen.