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2024 NFL Draft

Ex-NFL DL Thinks Troy Fautanu Could be a Hall of Famer

The Pittsburgh Steelers hit a home run by selecting Washington offensive tackle Troy Fautanu in the first round.

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Pittsburgh Steelers Troy Fautanu

The Pittsburgh Steelers turned in their draft card on Thursday night, and it was Washington offensive tackle Troy Fautanu at No. 20 overall after a slight slide for the Huskies product.

Fautanu is a fantastic athlete who brings versatility and smarts to the table. I think Fautanu is wholly unique in this class because he is athletic but plays with a nasty demeanor. Taliese Fuaga fits that bill, too, but he might move inside to guard, and Fautanu’s tape, specifically with his hand usage and how he protects his outside shoulder, will allow him to stick at tackle.

He is a natural left tackle, so their dilemma is now whether to flip Fautanu to right tackle or keep Broderick Jones over there. It could go either way, but Fautanu has the chops to be versatile in five positions and is one of the crazier athletes the tackle position has seen recently.

Go watch his drills at the NFL Combine. This guy moves better than others in space. Fautanu has excellent lateral agility and can cut off his outside shoulder and mirror back inside on counters as a result. He has very little tightness in his lower body, and that fluidity allows him to take some absurd angles during the run game and make some impressive recovery reps. And former NFL defensive lineman Chris Canty believes they might have landed a Hall of Famer.

“This is a guy that could stop defensive linemen dead in their tracks with his initial punch. He’s got the athleticism to stay in front of those quick, jump-around guys that might reduce down from being an edge rusher to a defensive tackle on sub package. One of the things you watch for in an OL is they can play in space. NFL defenses will try to put them in conflict, to force them to play in space. Troy Fautanu has shown the ability to do so. So he is a no-doubter. He’s gonna be a Hall of Fame guy at the end of his career.” Canty said.

But Fautanu is a plug-and-play guy, and the Steelers could only draft in the first round. There was no one else like this down the Steelers draft board; realistically, that would fall to 51 or 84 and start right off the rip. Fautanu is not a perfect player, but he works well in space, gets out in the screen game, and is an excellent pass protector.