This time last year, many had Penn State offensive tackle Olu Fashanu pegged as a potential first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Fashanu, however, went back to school to finish his degree in Supply Chain and Information Systems and will be graduating one semester early as a redshirt junior in the winter of 2023. Now, he finds himself in the center of draft discussions once again, this time for the 2024 class.
What exactly does Fashanu do well, though? Did he improve enough to warrant making the right decision from a football perspective to come back to Penn State? Let’s explore this by breaking down one of the consensus top players in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Games scouted: @ Auburn, 2022; vs. Michigan, 2022; @ Purdue, 2022; vs. West Virginia, 2023; vs. Iowa, 2023; @ Ohio State, 2023
- Big offensive lineman (6-foot-6, 319 pounds) with great length in his limbs that make it easier for him to lock defenders out from his frame
- Carries his weight incredibly well
- Great athlete for the offensive tackle position
- Offers great burst in his kick slide, which allows him to neutralize the outside speed rush well
- Has insane acceleration off the snap climbing to the second level
- Has shown flashes of being able to lands his strikes accurately
- Showcases nice hand activity with the willingness to consistently fight for inside placement
- When faced with speed to power, he has the raw strength in his anchor needed to neutralize at the point of attack
- Pad level looked better in 2023
- Lateral quickness in pass protection is very good
- Coordinated blocker on the move with impressive pulling ability due to his speed, agility and body control
- Still has a tendency to get his weight distribution out of whack at times
- Leans forward a bit too often, and while he can get away with it more often in college, that lack of a stable center of gravity could hurt him at times in the NFL
- Initial strike placement could get better, as he pops too high sometimes
- Grip strength isn’t bad but isn’t necessarily a strength of his game
Fashanu is my top offensive tackle in the 2024 NFL Draft and one of the top overall prospects in the class. An elite athlete with an extremely high ceiling, his growth as a pure football player has matched his raw physical talent quite well.
There are some slight technical inconsistencies to clean up, but he’s only 20 years old and will be 21 years old for most of his NFL rookie season should he declare for the 2024 draft. His development from 2022 to 2023 has been impressive, which is saying a lot, considering many had him pushing Paris Johnson Jr. as the top tackle in last year’s class before he stayed in school.
With all the physical tools you could ever ask for in an offensive tackle, Fashanu’s ceiling is that of an All-Pro left tackle in the NFL. He seems like as close to a lock as one can get to be a top-10 pick in 2024, and a top-5 selection certainly isn’t out of the question, either.
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