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2024 NFL Draft

Could Troy Fautanu be Sneaky Center Option for Steelers?

The Pittsburgh Steelers could have a surprise center option in Troy Fautanu, as he is potentially five-spot versatile.



Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft Prospect Troy Fautanu

The Pittsburgh Steelers have several options for tackle at the 20th overall pick as it stands before the draft, and with the deep class, it would seem likely that the team dips into that depth. And it seems the team is interested in the guys from the west coast, as Steelers offensive line coach Pat Meyer was in Seattle for Washington Pro Day, according to Huskies Wire’s Alex Katson.

According to Jordan Schultz, the Steelers, potentially Meyer, met with tackle Troy Fautanu before the team’s pro day. That’s another sign of interest for Fautanu. The team will host him for a 30-minute visit in the future, according to Schultz, and sources have confirmed with Steelers Now.

But could Fautanu maybe not just be a tackle option, but an option at center? The Athletic’s Dane Brugler believes that Fautanu is five-spot versatile and could fit in there.

“Overall, Fautanu is explosive on the move and at contact with the foot quickness, body control and temperament to stack wins in both pass protection and as a run blocker in the NFL. While he has the talent to remain at tackle, his skill set also projects well to guard and center and he offers legitimate five-position potential at the next level,” Brugler wrote in the Beast, his draft guide.

Fautanu is the group sleeper not discussed nearly enough among Steelers fans, but he makes sense. He measured with 34 1/2-inch arms at the NFL Combine. The Steelers under Andy Weidl and Omar Khan have strategically put the cut off line around that mark. Fautanu checks the box, which puts him in the mix at 20th overall. Add on a 1.71 10-yard split and an impressive set of position drills, and this needs to be at least thought of significantly.

Daniel Jeremiah mocked Fautanu to the Steelers in February. While Fautanu did play mostly left tackle with the Huskies, Jeremiah seems to think that his best NFL fit is at guard as well, suggesting that he could play next to Steelers 2023 first-round pick Broderick Jones on the offensive line.

“Fautanu fits the physical identity the Steelers are looking to create,” Jeremiah wrote. “He can play anywhere on the line, but it would be fun to watch him line up next to 2023 first-round pick Broderick Jones.”

The un-addressed problem with that scenario is that the Steelers have all three of their top guards from 2023 under contract for the 2024 season. So how would Fautanu slot into a starting lineup beside Jones? Or could he actually slide right in at center?

One way would be for starting right tackle James Daniels to move to center to replace Mason Cole. Though Daniels has not played a single snap of center in his two seasons with the Steelers, he did take about 500 snaps there with the Chicago Bears back in 2019. It’s unclear if Daniels would even be interested in such a move. But if Fautanu can become a tackle or center, there will no questions to answer. He simply can stick it out, and his movement skills are an excellent fit in Arthur Smith’s scheme.