NY Jets urged to 'avoid' popular OT mock draft target

Should the Jets avoid this top OT prospect?
Taliese Fuaga
Taliese Fuaga / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

The NY Jets have been connected to a variety of different prospects in the lead-up to the 2024 NFL Draft. From top offensive linemen to high-level offensive weapons, the Jets have the ability to go in a number of directions in this year's draft.

One player who has been a popular pick for the Jets in mock drafts over the last few months is Oregon State offensive tackle Taliese Fuaga.

Fuaga is widely seen as one of the top offensive tackle prospects in this year's class, and the expectation is that he will be available when the Jets pick at No. 10 overall. He could even be a possible trade-down target for the Jets if they move back in the first round.

However, not everyone seems to believe Fuaga would be a good pick for the Jets. Bleacher Report's Joe Tansey recently compiled a list of three draft prospects the Jets should "avoid" later this month, and Fuaga earned the first spot on the list,

Tansey's argument centers around the fact that Fuaga is a better run blocker than a pass protector at this stage and that the Jets should prioritize offensive tackles who are better pass blockers.

"[Taliese] Fauga grades as a better run blocker, while [Olu] Fashanu is the better pass blocker. The Jets will run the ball a good amount with Breece Hall, but if Rodgers is healthy, they need linemen who excel in pass protection. The Jets should value pass protection over run blocking, and if both offensive linemen are there at No. 10, Fashanu should be the pick because of that."

Joe Tansey

Should the NY Jets avoid Taliese Fuaga in the 2024 NFL Draft?

Tansey insists that the Jets should be more concerned about keeping Aaron Rodgers upright than adding another strong run blocker to pave the way for Breece Hall. While the argument makes some degree of sense, it's a very elementary way to evaluate the situation.

The Jets need a long-term offensive tackle solution. They don't necessarily need someone who specializes in one area — they just need a good player.

Fuaga was a two-year starting right tackle at Oregon State who earned first-team All-American honors in 2023. At 6-foot-6, 334 pounds, Fuaga plays with a nasty demeanor and would fit quite well in the Jets' projected new-look power run offense.

If anything, Fuaga is more similar to the players the Jets have added to their offensive line this offseason. He's a mauler in the run game who should thrive in a gap-based power run scheme at the NFL level.

Perhaps the more notable "concern" is Fuaga's positional flexibility. The Washington native played exclusively right tackle in college — he never played a single snap at any other position. That could diminish his value in the eyes of the Jets and other teams.

Nonetheless, there are no glaring red flags with Fuaga as a prospect that suggest the Jets should "avoid" him at all costs. While you could absolutely argue Penn State's Olu Fashanu is a better overall prospect, it's unclear how the board will shake out. Perhaps Fuaga will be their best option.

Taliese Fuaga remains a very real possibility for the Jets in the first round. He should definitely be in consideration.