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2024 NFL Draft

Watch: Troy Fautanu Emotional After Steelers Selection



Steelers OT Troy Fautanu

With the 20th overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Washington offensive tackle Troy Fautanu. Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward, who was named the 2023 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year, announced the pick in Detroit at the NFL Draft.

Troy Fautanu grew up a Steelers fan. His favorite player was Troy Polamalu, so it’s a full circle moment for the Henderson, Nevada native. He was in tears after he got the call from the Steelers.

Fautanu said on X a few hours after being picked that he was born to be a Steeler.

“God is so good. It couldn’t be written any better. I was born to be a Steeler! Pittsburgh… let’s get to work!” Fautanu wrote.

Troy Fautanu is an athletic freak, he played most of his career at Washington at left tackle, except for a few games when he kicked inside to left guard due to injuries. For the Steelers, their mentality up front is creating a dominant run game that will allow them to buoy a limited passing attack. But in order to do that in Arthur Smith’s wide zone scheme, they need athletic players who can move in space, and nastiness from those up front. And Fautanu sees only one way that a player can work on the offensive line — nastiness.

“There’s only one way you’ve got to play o-line, man,” Fautanu said. “And that’s just nasty. I feel like every Saturday or just every day you practice being violent with your hands and just trying to be explosive off the ball and just trying to, you know, put your will and the other guy. You’ve got to dominate. You’ve got to finish guys.”

Fautanu has no experience on the right side, which is important for the Steelers if they are serious about moving Broderick Jones back to the left side. Fautanu being picked would almost ensure that Jones sticks at right tackle, especially since Fautanu is a prototypical left tackle in his build. But his athleticism in space and on the front of wide zone runs would give Pittsburgh the ability to do some serious damage on the ground.

While he is nasty and a finisher, Fautanu can play with reckless abandonment, which causes him to whiff or fall off blocks. As such, there are some holding penalties that pop up on film, and a few were called on him, too. Fautanu is a bit too dependent on his athleticism and can get caught drifting to his spot rather than getting onto his spot. As such, Fautanu can be sped up at the end of his depth, and open the gate inside or expose his chest at times.

Troy Fautanu is an excellent prospect and quite pro-ready, which is a plus given that he will be 24 in his rookie season. The knee injury aside Fautanu would fit well in the Steelers scheme, and if he does not work out at tackle in his rookie season, the team could kick him inside for years to come.