Pittsburgh Steelers draft Troy Fautanu: How he fits, pick grade and scouting intel

The Pittsburgh Steelers have added an impact piece up front, selecting Washington offensive lineman Troy Fautanu with the 20th pick of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Recruited as an undersized guard out of Nevada, Fautanu added roughly 30 pounds (he weighed 317 at the combine) while at Washington, seeing time inside at guard before transitioning out to left tackle, where he served as the Huskies’ full-time starter the last two years.

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Fautanu lost no athleticism with the strength gained, as he still moves like a fast and nimble guard with active hands and lightning-quick feet. He also has terrific arm length for his height (6-foot-4): 34 1/2 inches, along with an 82-inch wingspan. That’s long enough to play tackle, though he might be a star inside at guard.

Fautanu is an older player and a bit of a late bloomer. He’ll be 24 by the end of his rookie season, and while he’s been healthy, some might view him as a bit too light and unrefined to play at tackle right away. His versatility is his strongest asset, though.

‘The Beast’ breakdown

Fautanu ranked No. 9 in Dane Brugler’s Top 300 big board. Here’s what Brugler had to say about him in his annual NFL Draft guide:

“Fautanu is explosive on the move and at contact with the foot quickness, body control and temperament to stack wins in both pass protection and as a run blocker in the NFL. While he has the talent to remain at tackle, his skill set also projects well to guard and center, and he offers legitimate five-position potential at the next level.”

Coaching intel

What an anonymous coach had to say about Fautanu in Bruce Feldman’s mock draft:

“This guy mows people down. I could see him being a better guard in the NFL, but that’s just my two cents.”

An offensive line coach on Fautanu in Feldman’s NFL Draft confidential:

“Can play both tackle and guard. I know he can do it for a fact. Has that suddenness to play inside. He’s built that way. I think he might have a slight edge athletically to (Taliese) Fuaga.”

Why he’s a first-round pick

An outstanding run blocker with top-end athleticism and the right attitude, Fautanu is good enough to start somewhere next year. Certainly at guard, possibly at tackle. He’s versatile and dependable enough to be a potential foundation piece up front.

Come back for more analysis of Fautanu.

(Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie / USA Today)

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