New England Patriots

New England Patriots

New England Patriots

Nov 4, 2023; College Park, Maryland, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions offensive lineman Olumuyiwa Fashanu (74) celebrates after a first half touchdown against the Maryland Terrapins at SECU Stadium. Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, Penn State’s Olu Fashanu was projected as one of, if not the top tackle heading into the 2023 NFL Draft process. So why isn’t he in the NFL right now? Fashanu, who majors in Supply Chain and Information Systems, surprised many by deciding to return to school for the 2023 season to finish his degree.

Now with two full seasons as a starter under his belt, Fashanu in finally making the jump to the pros. On Friday, he announced via social media he’s foregoing his senior season and declaring for the 2024 NFL Draft.


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Fashanu’s performance in 2023 didn’t drop his draft stock from last year’s projections. He’s still expected to be a top 10 pick and has a chance to be the first tackle off the board, along with Notre Dame’s Joe Alt (who has also officially declared).

At 6-foot-6, 321 pounds Fashanu has great size for the tackle position. He knows how to use his size too, and there won’t be many rushers that can outright overpower him. On top of that, Fashanu has a good understanding of pass rush approaches, and can pick up on more complex moves and games from opposing defensive linemen.

The biggest thing Fashanu will need to show in the pre-draft process is his ability to recover when being beat initially. Against elite rushers, he’s less impactful when losing off the snap.

  • That showed in Penn State’s matchup with Ohio State this year. Against Ohio State’s pass rush duo of J.T. Tuimoloau and Jack Sawyer – both projected top-100 picks – Fashanu allowed six pressures. In his other 11 starts, he allowed a total of four pressures combined.

    In total Fashanu started 12 games for Penn State this year, allowing 10 pressures while getting called for four penalties. That effort earned him All-American honors. In his first full season as a starter in 2022 he played in eight games, allowing seven pressures while not being called for any penalties.

    Entering the pre-draft process, Fashanu is expected to be a top-10 pick. The biggest question about his standing is, again, whether he or Alt will be the first tackle off the board.

    With Fashanu declaring, four of the top seven offensive players in the draft have now officially made the jump. We’re still waiting on USC quarterback Caleb Williams, Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., and Georgia tight end Brock Bowers. Players have until Jan. 16 to make their decision.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].

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