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2024 NFL Draft

Tomlin: Steelers Will Play Troy Fautanu at Tackle



Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft Troy Fautanu
Troy Fautanu, Washington Athletics

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers added a versatile piece to the future of their offensive line on Thursday, drafting Washington Huskies tackle Troy Fautanu with pick No. 20 on Thursday.

Fautanu played mostly left tackle in college with the Huskies, but has been projected to be the kind of player that can play all over an NFL line. He played a few snaps of right tackle and got his start at left guard in college.

Fautanu is shorter than the average NFL tackle, but has long arms for his height, giving him the requisite length to play the position, and the Steelers are set on trying him there, at least at first.

“Right now, we’re not concerned about that,” head coach Mike Tomlin said when asked about the possibility of him playing center. “We legitimately see him as a tackle.”

Which tackle still seems up in the air. The Steelers have left tackle Dan Moore Jr. under contract for one more season. Broderick Jones played right tackle as a rookie in 2023, but the Steelers have said they ultimately see him as Moore’s successor on the left side. But Fautanu might be talented enough to make them change their minds.

“Right now, he’s a tackle,” Tomlin said, leaving it open to speculation at this point which place he’ll play. “Maybe we’ll have a little bit more detail for you in the morning.”

His projected versatility opens a myriad of possibilities for this year and next for the Steelers. They could play Fautanu at tackle this year, and then move him to guard in 2025, after starting right guard James Daniels’ contract expires. 

But the Steelers like to let rookies deal with the NFL transition as easily as possible, and so he will likely start out at a tackle position in 2024, and Moore will once again be in a battle for his starting job from OTAs on.