Olu Fashanu Showing Talent & Maturity In Leadup To NFL Draft

After four seasons with Penn State football, offensive tackle Olu Fashanu is headed to the next level.

The Waldorf, Maryland, native has been touted as a high-level draft prospect since his first full season as a starter in 2022. Despite being a first-round prospect, Fashanu stayed in Happy Valley for the 2023 season.

The tackle rose to prominence after the first eight games of the 2022 campaign when he allowed zero sacks on 281 pass-blocking snaps before an injury sidelined him for the rest of the season.

The 2023 season was more of the same for the senior. Fashanu started 12 games for the Nittany Lions and once again didn’t allow a sack on 382 pass-blocking attempts last year.

Now, Penn State football’s 41st consensus All-American is the top-rated Nittany Lion and one of the top offensive line prospects heading into this year’s draft.

“At this point, he could impose his traits upon most collegiate opponents and stack the deck in his favor,” NFL analyst Lance Zierlein wrote.

Fashanu’s success on the line comes from a variety of factors including his strength and his size. At 6’6″ and 317 pounds, Fashanu is a force to be reckoned with. Not only does he have the size to dominate almost everyone he faced in college, but he’s fast and controlled, too.

Off the field, Fashanu is an attractive prospect. He noted that the drive to finish his degree was a major factor in his return to school. Fashanu was also named a finalist for last year’s William V. Campbell Trophy, referred to as the “Academic Heisman.”

In addition to finishing his education, Fashanu is a strong leader. James Franklin described the tackle as “high production, low maintenance,” and quarterback Drew Allar often noted the leadership and stability of the departing senior.

Despite the positives, analysts believe that there will be a learning curve upon entering the next level. While Fashanu is a great pass-blocker, his ability in the run-blocking game can still be developed.

“As a pro, he will need to play with better control and more consistent technique to prevent being countered and beaten by NFL talent,” Zierlein continued. “There is still room to get bigger and stronger, but he’s already playing with good focus and drive as a run blocker.”

Scouts are confident he’ll be able to learn fast, though, and practicing against two talented defensive ends like Chop Robinson and Adisa Isaac is a plus.

Fashanu is projected to be selected as a mid-first-round pick. Current projections have Fashanu going as high as the 12th pick down to the 20th overall pick. With the Saints’ current struggles along the offensive line, multiple mock drafts have the captain heading to New Orleans after being selected 14th overall.

Other mock drafts have Fashanu being selected 12th overall by the New England Patriots or dropping to pick No. 21 and heading to the Miami Dolphins.

The 2024 NFL Draft begins at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, and ends on Saturday, April 27. It’ll be televised on ABC and the NFL Network.

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About the Author

CJ Doebler

CJ is a junior double majoring in broadcast journalism and finance. He is from Northumberland, Pa, just east of State College. CJ is an avid Pittsburgh sports fan, but chooses to ignore the Pirates' existence. For the occasional random retweet and/or bad take, follow @CDoebler on Twitter. All complaints can be sent to [email protected].

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