Steelers are already making a colossal mistake with Troy Fautanu

Based on where Troy Fautanu is lining up at Steelers OTAs, the team is already making a mistake with their 2024 first-round pick.
Troy Fautanu, NFL Combine
Troy Fautanu, NFL Combine / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We are just a few practices into Steelers OTAs, but there is already to glean from what has transpired on the practice field. While most eyes will be watching Russell Wilson and Justin Fields sling the football to George Pickens and the young weapons on Pittsburgh's roster, where players are lining up is important.

One of the biggest questions on the Steelers depth chart entering the 2024 season is what Mike Tomlin and Pat Meyer would elect to do on the offensive line. Pittsburgh spent the 20th overall pick on left tackle Troy Fautanu out of Washington, but after taking Georgia LT Broderick Jones in the first round of the 2023 draft, the plan at the offensive tackle position was anyone's guess.

It looks like we could have our answer... and it might not be the best solution.

Nick Farabaugh of Steelers Now reports that Fautanu is working as the team's right tackle with Broderick Jones and getting work on both sides. The team also looks to be keeping Dan Moore at left tackle. The decision to move Fautanu to right tackle is peculiar.

Steelers should put Troy Fautanu at LT, Broderick Jones at RT

After watching hours of Troy Fautanu tape from his past two seasons at Washington, it's clear that his skill set is better suited as a left tackle than a right tackle. While these lines have blurred between these two positions in recent years, it's easy to see why this is the case.

Fautanu's best trait is his rapid foot quickness as a pass protector. He has an innate ability to keep defenders in front of him with outstanding mirroring ability. This is what a quality left tackle in the NFL needs to do best. Where Fautanu struggles is staying engaged as a run blocker. Though he's not lacking in the effort department, his 3rd-percentile height and 13th-percentile hand size suggest that this will never be his game.

Ironically, run blocking is what most NFL right tackles are known for. This means that Fautanu may have to tweak his game in order to reach his upside playing out of position at RT.

The Steelers legitimately have two talented tackles who would be best at left tackle: Broderick Jones and Troy Fautanu. Both are former first-round picks with impressive movement skills and freakish traits. Unfortunately, we know that one player needs to move to the opposite side.

Broderick Jones already admitted that he doesn't care where he plays. Jones has a bigger frame and more upside to be a bullish run blocker at the NFL level than Fautanu. But despite starting three-quarters of a season at right tackle, the Steelers appear to be set on moving Jones back to left tackle (something they talked about often during the offseason).

This means that Troy Fautanu could have trouble reaching his upside as he plays a role that isn't best for his skillset. We are only a few days into Steelers OTAs and there is still time for Tomlin and Meyer to change things up. However, where these players are aligning during Organized Team Activities is any indication, the Steelers could be making a colossal mistake with Troy Fautanu.