Steelers Select OT Fatanu in 1st Round

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By Ray Porter Jr.

After a record number of offensive players taken in the First Round of the 2024 NFL Draft, The Pittsburgh Steelers knew they had a smorgasbord of players to choose from on their list of players. The question was, were they going to select a Center, Offensive Tackle, Wide Receiver or Cornerback with their 20th pick in the First Round?

And at 10:50 pm, the Steelers answered that question by selecting Washington Huskies Offensive Tackle Troy Fautanu.

“Appreciate you guys all being here,” said Steeler General Manager Omar Khan. “As you know, we drafted Troy Fautanu. Excited to have him as a member of this organization. He’s a Steeler. We spent a great deal of time with him. We met with Troy at the Combine; Pat Meyer attended his pro day. We had him in here for a J0 visit. Like I said, we’re excited to have him here and can’t wait for the rookie camp to see him here.”

During his career at Washington, Fatanu was a Third-Team All-American (Associated Press), a 2023 Morris Trophy Winner, a 2023 First-Team All-Pac 12, 2022 Second-Team All-Pac-12, 2022 Third-Team All-Pac-12 (Pro Football Focus, Phil Steele) … 2020 Pac-12 and Academic Honor Roll.

“Really excited about Troy, as Omar said,” said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. “And the tape was just really, really impressive, not only in terms of his talents but really, I think his talents were really highlighted by the way that Washington utilized his talents schematically. You saw everything that you wanted to see. You saw him out in space in the perimeter game, be it crack toss or wide receiver screens. He was great in the run game. He was great as a drop-back passer, pass protector.”

In 2023, Fautanu was named First-Team All-Pac-12 for the second straight season and he started at left tackle in all 15 games in 2023. He won the 2023 Morris Trophy as the top offensive lineman in the Pac-12 Conference, as voted by the league’s defensive linemen, and he won the John P. Angel Offensive Power Player of the Year Award at the team’s postseason banquet.

When asked how much did it help that six tackles were taken ahead of him, Khan replied: “Yeah, I’m sure that in the grand scheme of things that definitely helped. Not just for us, I’m sure there are other teams that that helped, but we’re excited to have him. To that point, you had every corner on the board, plenty of wide receivers on the board, every center on the board.”

The Steeler’s objective for 2024 was to make this team ready for a postseason run, and having a more effective offensive line is paramount, especially at the Tackle position. Last year, the Steelers drafted Broderick Jones, and this year, they selected Troy Fautanu.

“Yeah, I think it’s, for obvious reasons, I’ve said it from the beginning, the offensive line, defensive line, those are big priorities, the big men, that’s where it starts.” Said Khan “We want to be a physical football team and it’s got to start up there.”

Notes: As expected, the Chicago Bears selected USC QB Caleb Williams with their #1 Overall pick.

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