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Olu Fashanu brings a tantalizing skill set to NY Jets offense

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Olu Fashanu, New York Jets, Getty Images

The film showcases Olu Fashanu’s sky-high ceiling for the New York Jets

Now that we’re two weeks out from the draft, I have had the time to watch plenty of film on Olu Fashanu and develop thoughts about him as a player. And what I saw was promising.

I feel that a lot of the fanbase was hoping to see Joe Douglas take a weapon, whether it was Brock Bowers at No. 10 or trading up for Rome Odunze. I was on the Rome wave, and it appears the Jets did try to trade up for him, but it didn’t work out. I think Douglas did the next best thing by trading back one spot and netting a couple of extra picks while still getting their guy at 11. 

I think it’s important to trust Rodgers to elevate the receivers around him rather than the offensive linemen around him. I don’t see a world where Fashanu doesn’t end up playing 5 to 8 games next year that are probably very important. So, for all of the fans saying, “oh, we drafted another player who won’t play much”, that’s just not the case. Tyron Smith and Morgan Moses are both on short-term deals and are both liable to get injured at their age and considering their injury history. Clearly, Douglas and the staff did not feel comfortable going into the year having Carter Warren and Max Mitchell as their backup tackles. Fashanu also gives the Jets a possible left tackle for the next 10 to 12 years if it all works out.

Now, let’s focus on Fashanu as a player. What does he bring to the table?

At first glance, stat-wise, Olu is pretty flawless. He allowed zero sacks, zero hits, and 10 hurries over 382 pass-blocking snaps in 2023. He had a 2.6% pressure rate, which was tied for 12th among 199 qualified FBS tackles, and his 0% sack rate tied for first. In terms of run blocking, PFF gave him a grade of 70.5, tied for 41st among 199 tackles. It’s worth noting that 57.9% of Fashanu’s run-blocking snaps were zone runs and 32.1% were gap runs, so he has versatility in that field. Fashanu also played 1,349 offensive snaps in college and only committed five penalties.

Now, Fashanu joins a loaded O-line room where he can learn from two accomplished veteran tackles in Tyron Smith and Morgan Moses.

With his stats and draft pedigree, the talent is clearly there on paper. But what does the film show?

Olu Fashanu film review

Fashanu lines up at left tackle and wears No. 74.

Read option play here. Olu tends to play with a bit higher of a pad level than I’d prefer. I like that he latches on here with his down block, though, and he does a good job of finishing with a pancake.

Good initial jump from Olu here and he stymies the outside rush move from the EDGE. Good first hand placement and punch. When the EDGE bends the corner, Olu shows his strength and lateral movement, putting him on the ground.

I wanted to put a rep showing Olu pulling, as many have speculated and believe the Jets will become more of a gap scheme team in 2024. I think Olu has the athletic ability to be an effective puller in the run game. Here on the counter play, Olu pulls fluidly and meets the LB filling the gap with good pad level, which creates a big play.

Tyron Smith-esque rep here. I found that Olu has a really good anchor when it comes to pass blocking. If he gets his hands inside and latches on, there is a good chance that’s as far as the defender is getting, which is the case here.

Another rep of Olu showing his strength. The EDGE tries to use a bull rush move and then tries to get around the edge, but Olu is having none of it. Olu pancakes him to the ground and then shows some nasty to end the play. Impressive stuff.

Not everything was great, though. Here on the RPO, Olu lunges and completely whiffs on his block. He must learn to play with better balance and IQ at the next level to avoid reps like this.

Another rep where Olu loses. I think the communication was a bit off as Olu looked to the 3-tech first. It’s a nice long-arm pass rush from the EDGE and Olu’s balance is off, so he gets completely pushed back into the QB. He may have given up zero sacks in his career, but there are reps like this on tape.

Lastly, a good combo block from Olu. It’s an inside zone run and Olu shows the nasty to finish the combo block and pancake the DT. Need to see more of this physicality in the run game at the next level.

Overall, I like Olu as a prospect. I think sitting is something that will be helpful for him. He has a bit of rawness to his game when it comes to run blocking, so he can learn a lot from the veteran starters. With proper development, his ceiling is high. He has a great anchor, good lateral movement, and is mostly a wall in pass pro.

As far as the draft-day decision to take him at No. 11, it’s crucial to note that building the trenches up front was as important as adding to the WR room, which the Jets were still able to do in a great way by adding Malachi Corley. Aaron Rodgers is 40 and coming off an Achilles tear. If the Jets can protect him, this team could go as far as they want to go. By adding Fashanu, the Jets have ensured they will still be able to protect their prized QB even if one of their starters goes down – a luxury they have not enjoyed in recent years.

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