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Shoring Up the Redskins Offensive Line

What should the Redskins do at left guard this offseason?

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins offensive line re-build is coming along quite nicely since Scot McCloughan vowed to get bigger, stronger and nastier in the trenches. During the Shanahan era, the Redskins had one of the smallest and oldest offensive lines in the league. Now, we have one of the largest and youngest units in the NFL.

This unit however is not without an Achilles heel.

The stalwart of the unit is offensive tackle Trent Williams. Largely regarded as one of the top left tackles in the game, Williams embodies everything you look for in an offensive linemen - size, length, agility, toughness and a mean streak. At just 28 years old, Williams is still very much in his prime, and the five year contract extension he signed in 2015 will keep him a Redskins through his best years.

Right behind Williams in the pecking order is Brandon Scherff, who will be entering his third season in the NFL. The massive 6'5" 323 pound mauler was Scot McCloughan's first draft selection as general manager of the Redskins, and he paid immediate dividends to a unit that struggled with size and physicality. Scherff is everything you look for in an interior offensive linemen, and his play this year was among the best at his respective position, earning him his first trip to the Pro Bowl. He should be a mainstay for years to come along our front.

2014 saw Virginia offensive tackle Morgan Moses tumble out of the first two rounds of the NFL draft, and into the lap of the Redskins with the 66th overall pick. The Goliath offensive tackle was not game-ready out of the chute, but patience and coaching have turned him into one of the games' better right tackles. He'll turn 26 in March, and he and Williams should continue to form solid bookends for years to come. This closely resemble the Samuels/Jansen tandem from the early 2000's.

Center has been an on-going issue with our Redskins for what seems like decades. The last few years have seen undersized, under-preforming converted guards attempt to man the middle of our line, and the results have not been pretty. In 2016, Spencer Long took over for an injured Kory Lichtensteiger, and the Redskins have not looked back. Long brings a combo of exceptional size, strength, smarts, youth and footwork to the position, and his play throughout last season was admirable. Once a huge concern, center now seems to be locked down for the foreseeable future. This should allow the Redskins to part ways with Lichtensteiger.

For all the good I just mentioned, there still lies some concern. Every unit in the NFL has a weak spot, and ours is left guard.

Sean Lauvao re-entered the starting lineup in 2016, after being injured the prior year, and was not very effective. Multiple ankle surgeries have deteriorated his play, and on top of this, he is set to make five million dollars in 2017. With just one million in dead cap, he could be a candidate to be released this offseason.

So, where do the Redskins turn to replace Lauvao if he's not part of their future plans?

In-House Candidates:

Arie Kouandjio - 6'5" 325(age 24)

Vinston Painter - 6'4" 322(age 27)

Free Agents:

Kevin Zeitler(Cin) - 6'4" 315(age 26)

Luke Joeckel(Jac) - 6'6" 306(age 25)

Chance Warmack(Ten) - 6'2" 323(age 25)

Larry Warford(Det) - 6'3" 333(age 25)

Ron Leary(Dal) - 6'3" 320(age 27)

Later-Round Draft Picks:

Isaac Asiata - 6'3" 325(Utah) round 3

Dion Dawkins - 6'4" 317(Temple) rounds 3-4

Nico Siragusa - 6'4" 325(San Diego St.) rounds 3-4

Danny Isidora - 6'3" 311(Miami) rounds 4-5

Damien Mama - 6'3" 325(USC) rounds 4-5