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Jets GM Joe Douglas: Olu Fashanu Is a Proven Pass Protector

Penn State Product Allowed 1 Sack in 29 Games

Penn State offensive lineman Olumuyiwa Fashanu (74) in action during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Maryland, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, in College Park, Md. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Jets general manager Joe Douglas continued to achieve his offseason goal of rebuilding the team's offensive line by selecting Penn State T Olu Fashanu with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

"Proven pass protector," Douglas said. "Left tackle. Feel like he can really develop and become an impact blocker for us moving forward."

Fashanu, 21, was the third tackle selected in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft behind Notre Dame's Joe Alt (No. 5 overall, LAC) and Alabama's J.C. Latham (No. 7 overall, TEN). With several talented tackles still on available when the Jets were on the clock like Oregon State's Taliese Fuaga and Washington's Troy Fautanu, the Jets elected for the 2023 consensus All-American and Big Ten OL of the Year in Fashanu.

"It's such a unique draft class at the tackle position because we really felt that there was a handful of guys that were unbelievable players," Douglas said. "With Olu, his production in pass pro, very low pressure rates, playing in one of the top conferences in the country. He's just a really high-level, high-impact pass protector. I don't think he gets enough credit for his run blocking. Just a big giant body, 6-6 315 pounds with long arms. And he's a very tough, competitive young man."

Fashanu played in 29 games (21 starts), all at left tackle, for the Nittany Lions and did not allow a sack on his 733 pass-blocking snaps. A team captain and team MVP in 2023, he became the first consensus All-American on the offensive line at Penn State since 1995.

When asked if the Jets see him as a left tackle in the NFL, Douglas said, "I think that's what he's had his most success at in high school and obviously has been a dominant left tackle at Penn State the last two seasons. We've got a great room of vets that can take him under their wing and great coaches that can help him develop."

The Jets have been relentless adding to the offensive line throughout the offseason after starting 13 combinations up front in 2023. Fashanu joins a tackles group that's headlined by eight-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro Tyron Smith and RT Morgan Moses, entering his 11th NFL season.

"Between [Smith] and Morgan, just so much wealth and knowledge and experience and not only in technique, but also just how to be a pro and how to prepare at this level," HC Robert Saleh said. "The young man's only 21 years old, he hasn't even scratched the surface and he's walking into a situation where he's going to learn exactly what it takes to last in this league."

He added: "You guys know me by now, O-line, D-line, the more the merrier. You can never have enough. I'll always argue that the offensive and defensive lines are the only two positions that don't need other positions to perform for them to do their jobs where every other position kind of relies on them. From an O-line perspective, to be able to protect the quarterback, keep him upright, allow him to go through progressions so he can get it to our playmakers. And we do feel like we've got a bevy of them.

"Getting and improving our offensive line in free agency and adding to the depth and the future of the offensive line was a was a big part of the discussion."

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