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Jets Sign Penn State OL Olu Fashanu, Their Top Choice in the '24 Draft

Former Penn State Tackle was Drafted No. 11 Overall in April

Draft Signings-16x9-Olu

The Jets have signed Penn State tackle Olu Fashanu, their 11th overall selection of the 2024 NFL Draft and the Jets' first of five picks devoted to continuing their focus on the starting lineup, depth and design of their offense.

Fashanu — or as general manager Joe Douglas has already dubbed the 6-6, 312-pounder, "Big Olu" — was one of the top left tackles available in Round 1 of the draft on Thursday, and he brings a lot of qualities to the Jets that they need in enhancing their tackle depth behind veterans Tyron Smith and Morgan Moses and protecting Aaron Rodgers and the Jets QBs for the coming season and on into the future.

"I feel like I bring a lot of toughness, a lot of grit," Fashanu described his playing profile. "And for me, most importantly, I feel like one of my best assets is consistency on the field. Never take any plays off, always give it my all. I'm great in pass protection, run blocking, but also just a great locker room guy as well. I'm going to be the same person day in and day out. I'm going to come in, work my tail off. I'm going to compete within the program, because at the end of the day, by competing with everyone, not only are you getting yourself better, you're getting everyone around you better."

Douglas liked the sound of that tune, since when the Jets went on the clock at No. 11 after flipping their 10th pick to QB-targeting Minnesota, could have gone with Fashanu or with Georgia's Brock Bowers, a clear favorite as best tight end in the draft and another player many thought the Jets would be tempted to select for their reworked offense.

"It was a tough choice for us," Douglas said. "But it felt like Olu was the right choice for us, just with his production and his ability to play left tackle and his makeup."

The one key metric that many pointed to was the Penn State program's count on Fashanu's pass protection. The school said in his 12 starts and 382 pass-blocking snaps as a senior, he allowed zero sacks. Pro Football Focus measured him for the past two seasons and ranked him "in the 93rd percentile among qualifying college tackles in pass-blocking grade on true pass sets."

Fashanu even has a bit of flexibility to his game. He said during Nittany Lions practices last year and for his combine training, he worked a lot at right tackle.

"I'm sure Olu would play anywhere you asked him to," Douglas said, "but we just want to get him in here, get to working with him and let him hit the ground running with us."

Fashanu will hit the ground running and pass-blocking at Jets training camp like most of the Jets' top draft choices. Since the 2000 "Four Aces" draft, the team has had 32 first-round selections, with only six of them missing any camp time. Darrelle Revis missed 22 practices in 2007 but the others stayed out of only one to three practices before signing and reporting to camp.

The quickest to sign in that span: DL Leonard Williams, the 2015 first-rounder who signed May 8 of that year, eight days after he was drafted, and CB Sauce Gardner, the 2022 No. 1 pick who signed May 7, nine days after he was drafted. Fashanu is almost in that fast company: He signed his rookie contract 18 days after the night he was drafted by the Jets.

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