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This Players Stock Is SOARING After The NFL Combine

By Peter Andrisani (The Mock Draft Guy)


I will sound like a broken record by the time the 2024 NFL Draft comes around, but this draft class is stacked with talent at every offensive line position. The focal point of today’s prospect profile is perhaps one of the most versatile in the entire class: Washington’s Troy Fautanu. These videos evaluate a player's strengths, Areas to improve upon, scheme fit, team fits, pro comparison, and overall draft projection. 


STRENGTHS


Troy Fautanu was a two-year starter at the left tackle position at Washington. The 6’4” 317-pound tackle was the 10th highest graded pass blocker in the country while getting a Third-team All-American honor and first-team PAC-12. Fautanu also has experience at left Guard and even along the defensive line, if you could believe that, which is a true testament to his athletic ability.


In pass protection, Fautanu is a jacked-up, easy mover out of his stance and in his sets with a default aggressive, attacking mentality that he works to balance with flashes of tact and poise. He works in varied strikes and pass sets to keep rushers guessing with an understanding of how to maximize his length and keep defenders at his fingertips. He wins in pass protection with athleticism to effectively mirror pass rushers, quick feet, and active hands. His energetic, nasty play style best translates to the Guard position in the NFL. I don’t think he has the required length to start on the outside. He also has a thicker, stout build, best fit for the inside. 


Despite not being graded nearly as high as I thought, at 130th in the country, I think that Fautanu is a dynamic run-blocker. With the burst, quickness, and power to cut off or cave in defenders on reach, scoop, and angle-drive blocks, ricochet up to the second level and take out 'backers, plus erase smaller targets on tosses, screens, and counters. He brings a tone-setting demeanor with the coordination, body control, and sustain skills to finish at a high level. Again, I think these skills and overall athleticism will translate very smoothly to the inside at the next level. 


WEAKNESSES


Fautanu, of course, does come with some weaknesses and areas that he can improve upon. Fautanu's high-energy style does lead to a hurried, almost frenetic pace that rushers who know how to set up their moves with stutters, hesitations, and tempo can take advantage of to get him out of position. This leads to oversets and a soft inside shoulder. If a transition to Guard is made, this problem should be resolved to an extent. I don’t know if this is a weakness or not, but all of Fautanu’s traits might be considered a tick under elite. 


Nothing he does is overly spectacular, but he does everything well. His athleticism is probably the closest trait he has to elite, but I wouldn’t put it in that tier just yet. Fautanu allows himself to get too top-heavy sometimes due to his aggressive play style. This leads to him getting off balance pretty easily. Fautanu also allows defensive linemen to get too close to his body; this is especially worrisome because he lacks the overall core strength and play strength to allow this to happen. He plays aggressively but needs to be more aggressive in putting his hands on the defender first. 


SCHEME FIT


Troy Fautanu is a scheme-versatile player, in my opinion. In Washington’s pass-heavy scheme, Fautanu excelled while left on an island in pass protection. Fautanu’s excellent Athletic ability makes him a great fit in zone-blocking run schemes; he’s also elite in the second level as a lead blocker.  


TEAM FITS


Here are five teams that I think could take Troy Fautanu in the 2024 NFL Draft:


The Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks are in desperate need of an upgrade at all three interior offensive line positions, especially at Guard. Fautanu’s strengths would cater to the Seahawks' offense perfectly. 


The Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags off-season should consist of bulking up the trenches. Trevor Lawrence was pretty banged up this year; keeping him upright should be the first thing on the agenda.


The Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins are in a similar situation to the Jaguars and the Seahawks; Fautanu could be a Swiss army knife for this offensive line that consistently deals with injuries. 


The Philadelphia Eagles. If there was ever a Howie Roseman pick, it’s this one. Fautanu will be an instant replacement if the Eagles move either Cam Jurgens or Landon Dickerson to Center.


Finally, The Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals' quest to protect Joe Burrow seems like it’ll never end. The offensive line has some key free agents over the next couple of seasons; it would be wise to stack the line now. 


PRO COMPARISON


My pro comparison for Troy Fautanu is Alijah Vera-Tucker. Vera-Tucker is consistently the lone bright spot on a poor Jets Offensive line, and he’s got excellent versatility. As a guard, AVT can effortlessly glide to the 2nd level like Fautanu. AVT often kicks outside to play tackle as well, and that’s something that I can see Fautanu doing as well. Fautanu, in my opinion, is the more athletic out of the two players, though. 


DRAFT PROJECTION


Overall, Troy Fautanu is a twitched-up, explosive blocker with excellent length and a tone-setting demeanor who projects best inside at Guard with tackle versatility in his back pocket. His tools and skill set should land him a starting job right away, and he has Pro Bowl potential, in my opinion. I believe Troy Fautanu will be selected to be among the top 40 of the 2024 NFL Draft. 


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