Arie Kouandjio, the 6'5" 325 pound 25 year old Maryland native, will get a chance to earn the starting left guard position this summer with the Redskins. Kouandjio, who is entering his third season in D.C., was a two-year starter at Alabama, and earned second team All-American honors as a senior.
The Redskins certainly have a weak link at left guard, where incumbent Shawn Lauvao has struggles with both inconsistency and injury. When you are 6'3" and 326 pounds, overcoming multiple ankle surgeries is no easy task, and it has been very concerning for Lauvao, who will turn 30 this October. Add in the fact he's scheduled to make five million this season, and only carries a one million dead cap hit, and he's a candidate to be cut if his play does not improve drastically.
Kouandjio is know to be a phone-booth type blocker, meaning he's good in short areas, being able to generate power and movement off the ball. He has very long arms (34") , and if he's able to get inside a defenders pads, he has the ability to control his man. He also has a bit of a mean streak, often showing the aggression and tenacity to fight his man through the whistle.
Where Kouandjio has struggled some is in space. He doesn't always keep his head up when moving to the second level in the run game, which causes him to miss his target, or lunge instead of rolling the hips up through his man. In pass protection, his base tends to get a bit narrow, allowing defenders to knock him off balance. He tends to be a bit slow to react to stunts, and is sometimes late re-setting his base once his man gets into his body.
Still, Kouandjio possesses the fundamental strength and length to excel as an offensive guard in the NFL. If he can clean up some of his technique under the watchful eye of offensive line guru Bill Callahan, the sky could be the limit for the youngster.
You can view some film breakdown of Kouandjio done by Robbie Duncan Here.