Penn State coach heaps glowing praise on Olu Fashanu after Jets pick

Fashanu seems like a perfect left tackle for the Jets
Penn State v Maryland
Penn State v Maryland / G Fiume/GettyImages

The NY Jets may have surprised some fans when they chose Penn State offensive tackle Olu Fashanu in the 2024 NFL Draft, as some were hoping for either a trade-up to select Washington WR Rome Odunze or taking Georgie TE Brock Bowers. Instead, Joe Douglas wanted to be as good in the trenches as possible.

While the Jets haven't had the best history with selecting prospects from Happy Valley, Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin could not stop saying positive things about Fashanu and how he believes he will perform at the next level. According to Franklin, Fashanu is everything you want as a player and person.

"To me, he's the model Penn State football player," Franklin said on The Official Jets Podcast. "This guy could have left last year as probably a first-round draft choice. He decided to come back to school to be an All-American...He had one of the highest GPAs (3.7) in one of the best schools in the country."

Franklin was particularly impressed with Fashanu's leadership qualities and contributions to a winning culture. "He's just that type of guy, a tremendous leader," Franklin said. "You guys are going to love him on the field, there's no doubt in my mind he's going to get the job done."

Penn State's James Franklin praises Jets OT Olu Fashanu

In a perfect world, Fashanu wouldn't play much as a rookie, as Tyron Smith and Morgan Moses are projected to be the starting tackle duo. However, the Jets were so entranced by Fashanu's pass protection that they were willing to put him on the bench for a year and then install him as their left tackle in the future.

Fashanu didn't allow a sack during his last two seasons at Penn State, showing off some exemplary footwork and mobility in pass protection. On top of being a technical marvel, Fashanu possesses tremendous athleticism for the position.

Fashanu will likely need to work on his run blocking before the Jets throw him out there, but everything about his collegiate career suggests he can quickly improve in that area. Could there be a better veteran to learn from in the league than Smith, whom Fashanu has already idolized?

While some fans may have been all in on either Bowers or Odunze, Fashanu has all the traits needed to give the Jets a franchise left tackle for the first time since the departure of D'Brickashaw Ferguson. Franklin has sent a ton of players to the pros, but Fashanu seems to be a cut above the rest.