NFL player comparisons for Steelers OT Troy Fautanu

High-end, low-end, and most likely NFL player comps for Steelers OT Troy Fautanu.
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As the hype of the 2024 NFL Draft beginning to die down, I've had time to do a deep dive into the Pittsburgh Steelers' draft picks. One of my favorite pieces to write each year is a high-end, low-end, and most likely NFL player comparison for each pick the Steelers made in the draft.

In my scouting report on OT Troy Fautanu, I concluded that Pittsburgh landed a high-floor offensive tackle thanks to his athletic traits, physical demeanor, and position flexibility to move inside if needed. However, Fautanu's lack of elite size could cap his game in some areas.

Fautanu could be a long-term starter in the NFL thanks to his high floor. Here are my high-end, low-end, and most likely NFL player comparisons for Troy Fautanu as he begins his pro career with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

High-end NFL comparison: Rashawn Slater

Entering the NFL, there were plenty of questions surrounding Rashawn Slater due to his lack of size for the offensive tackle position. Slater measured in at the NFL Combine at 6'4 1/4'' and 304 pounds with just 33'' arms.

Though Fautanu is a half-inch shorter than Slater, he's heavier and longer. Both players tested as remarkable athletes entering the league. Slater earned a 9.72 Relative Athletic Score, while Fautanu came in with a 9.62 RAS.

Slater and Fautanu aren't bullying run blockers who are going to manhandle powerful defensive linemen at the line of scrimmage, but they have elite foot quickness and do their best work as mirroring pass protectors. If Troy Fautanu can clean things up mechanically, he has a similar frame and the athletic upside to be like Rashawn Slater in the NFL.

Low-end comparison: Kelvin Beachum

Here's a name that Pittsburgh Steelers fans are familiar with. Kelvin Beachum came out of nowhere as a seventh-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and he went on to have a long, successful NFL career -- starting 149 of 163 games from 2012 to 2023.

Beachum never reached a Pro Bowl in his career, but he was a quality offensive tackle. He played mostly left tackle early in his career before switching to right tackle after hitting his 30s.

At 6'2'' and 303 pounds with 33 1/4'' arms, Beachum defied all odds and was able to stick at tackle, thanks to his quick feet and refined mechanics as a pass protector. Fautanu clearly has more size, strength, and upside, but Beachum has had a successful NFL career with four different teams. This is the route Fautanu's career could take if he doesn't show much development in the NFL.

Most likely comparison: Chester Pitts

It was hard finding an offensive tackle with a very similar physical makeup to Troy Fautanu. I'm aging myself with this player comparison, but I think Fautanu's most likely career path could look similar to Chester Pitts. The former San Diego State product measured in at 6'3 1/2'' and 320 lbs. This is nearly the same as Fautanu at his Washington Pro Day (6'3 3/4'', 320 lbs).

Despite his short, stocky frame, Pitts was an excellent athlete. This helped him stick as a left tackle for the first half of his career before transitioning to left guard.

Pitts fell shy of Pro Bowl honors, but he was a rock-solid football player who started 119 of the 121 games he dressed for in the NFL. Pitts played eight seasons in Houston before ending his career in Seattle in 2010. Injuries struck late in his career, and he played just 9 games over his final two seasons, but in his first seven seasons, he never missed a single game.

Because of his unique body type, quality athletic traits, and good NFL career (which later included a conversion to offensive guard), Chester Pitts' career path might be the most likely for Troy Fautanu in the NFL.