An in-depth look at NY Jets 2024 first-round pick Olu Fashanu

What should Jets fans expect from Olu Fashanu?
Olu Fashanu
Olu Fashanu / G Fiume/GettyImages

With the 11th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the NY Jets select Olu Fashanu, offensive tackle, Penn State University.

To start the 2024 NFL Draft, the Jets chose to trade down to recoup some picks and draft an offensive lineman. While some may suggest the Jets drafted a backup for their first pick, it's a safe bet to assume Fashanu will be starting at some point this season.

What can Jets fans expect from Olu Fashanu, a two-time All-American and 2023 Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year? Let’s take a deeper look into his collegiate career, combine results, expert comparisons, and more.

Olu Fashanu's measurables and achievements

As a starting left tackle at Penn State for two years, Fashanu gave up 17 QB pressures and one sack according to PFF. Analysts have praised his pass-blocking ability, noting his technique and fundamentals.

He has a prototypical build in his height (6-foot-6), weight (312 pounds) and arm length (34 inches). Lastly, his vision and spatial awareness prove to be strong attributes that lend themselves to his performance on the field.

Those same analysts note his strength and small hands as top weaknesses. He did not grade as well in run-blocking as he did in pass-blocking, but still performed well overall. Robert Saleh addressed this by minimizing the concerns and emphasizing the importance of pass protection for a left tackle. ranks rookie prospects and assigns them grades. They assigned Fashanu a 6.45, which is associated with the prospect becoming a good starter within two years.

He ranked fifth in his class behind JC Latham (Tennessee Titans, No. 7), Joe Alt (Los Angeles Chargers, No. 5), Taliese Fuaga (New Orleans Saints, No. 14), and Troy Fautanu (Pittsburgh Steelers, No. 20).

If Fashanu were to be a part of the 2023 NFL Draft class, he would be the second-highest tackle prospect behind Peter Skoronski and would be ranked ahead of Broderick Jones.

For what it is worth, Mekhi Becton was the second-rated offensive lineman in his class, as he was projected to be better than Andrew Thomas, Tristan Wirfs, and Robert Hunt. Fashanu would have been ranked the fifth-best offensive lineman in that 2020 NFL Draft, ranked ahead of Hunt.

Unlike Becton, Fashanu was selected based on his proven track record of pass protection rather than physical traits. Becton was taken for his measurables with the hope that the Jets could coach him to be an All-Pro caliber tackle.

Olu Fashanu comes into the Jets organization with excellent pass-blocking fundamentals and prowess, while coaches will look to improve his strength alongside his run-blocking ability and technique.

Olu Fashanu's player comparisons

Fashanu’s impressive collegiate stats in the passing game are reminiscent of another Jets player taken in the 2022 NFL Draft: Sauce Gardner. Gardner didn’t give up a single touchdown in his collegiate career — much like Fashanu giving up only a single sack in his two years as a starter. These two players excelled in college at the most important aspect of their position.

One thing that helps give fans an idea of what to expect from their teams’ new acquisitions is player comparisons. player comparison is Jacksonville Jaguars’ Cam Robinson, who has been a solid starter but has suffered injuries throughout his career that have hampered his true potential.

CBS Sports really wants Jets fans excited, as they have perennial All-Pro San Francisco 49ers’ Trent Williams as Fashanu's comp. Lastly, Bleacher Report has a familiar name in retired Jet D’Brickashaw Ferguson, which would be more than welcomed by Jets fans for his longevity alone.

While Ferguson was known as an iron man who missed only one snap in his NFL career, the Jets starting tackles in 2024 have not had the same luck. Starting left tackle Tyron Smith has not played a full season since 2015, and starting right tackle Morgan Moses missed three games last year and is coming off pectoral surgery this offseason.

Joe Douglas did share that they would practice Fashanu at both left tackle and right tackle, which is logical given the age and health of their starting tackles. The goal is for Fashanu to be a starting left tackle in the future, but the Jets are going to explore how he can contribute immediately in 2024.

Fashanu is entering a very favorable situation, as he doesn’t have the pressure to be an immediate starter and will have great mentorship in Moses and Smith. In practice, Fashanu gets to sharpen his skills against the likes of Haason Reddick and Jermaine Johnson week in and week out.

Whether his number is called to play left tackle or right tackle in 2024, Jets fans can rest assured that Fashanu already has a proven track record of protecting the quarterback and ensuring the play has time to develop.

With a little luck and some coaching, Fashanu has the opportunity and the skills to be an anchor on the Jets offensive line for years to come.