Steelers fans will fall in love with surprise first round pick Troy Fautanu

Every fan will be on board with this pick when they realize what the Steelers are getting in Troy Fautanu.
2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington
2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

As the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft inched closer to the Steelers' selection at pick 20, things were falling their way. The two biggest names on their draft radar in recent weeks have been Georgia offensive tackle Amarius Mims and Duke's Graham Barton. Mims was snatched up by the Cincinnati Bengals just two picks before the Steelers were on the clock, and Barton felt like an easy choice... but that was before we realized that Troy Fautanu would be available.

Fautanu is a player we didn't give a ton of thought to in connection with the Pittsburgh Steelers during the pre-draft process, but Omar Khan didn't hesitate to turn his card in for Fautanu in Round 1. A left tackle at Washington, Fautanu didn't meet the size threshold Omar Khan and Andy Weidl typically look for in an offensive tackle.

His fit with Broderick Jones is also peculiar, as it's unclear whether or not Fautanu will remain at left tackle -- forcing Broderick to stay at his less comfortable position on the right side of the offensive line.

Still, this is a selection that Steelers fans will love.

At 6'3 3/4'', Fautanu doesn't look like a prototype offensive tackle. He doesn't wow you with size as a player like Amarius Mims or Tyler Guyton would. But it's this shortcoming that may have allowed him to be available to Pittsburgh at pick 20 in the first place.

Steelers found great value in Troy Fautanu in Round 1

According to NFL Mock Draft Database, Fautanu was the 21st overall player on the consensus board -- which essentially puts him on value with where the Steelers were selecting. The Washington product was ranked higher than both Mims (22nd) and Barton (26th).

Fautanu was even higher on Marcus Mosher's consensus draft board -- which takes the average rankings of the top NFL Draft experts like Mel Kiper Jr., Dane Brugler, Field Yates, Pro Football Focus, and others. On this consensus board, Fautanu was the 10th overall player with an average rank among experts of 12.5.

By all accounts, this selection was either on value or above value for the Steelers... and it's not hard to see why.

Though some believe that Troy Fautanu would be best on the interior offensive line as a guard or center, the athletic offensive lineman can stick at offensive tackle in the NFL. Fautanu tested as a 96th percentile athlete, per

Outside of his short stature, Fautanu possesses the traits to stick as an offensive tackle in the NFL. His arms measured in plenty long enough at 34 1/2'' (just a hair under Broderick Jones' at 34 3/4''), and his 317-pound frame is actually 6 pounds heavier than Jones measured at the NFL Combine last year.

The Steelers have confirmed that they want him playing offensive tackle as well; however, Mike Tomlin would not go as far as to say if he will be a left tackle or a right tackle for them.

At 23 years old, Fautanu is on the older side for a first-round pick, but this might be a solid trade-off for a team getting a player who logged nearly 2,000 offensive snaps over the past two seasons at Washington. Meanwhile, Fautanu's 86.0 pass-blocking grade ranked 7th among all FBS offensive tackles since 2022, according to Pro Football Focus.

Troy Fautanu is an elite athlete who comes at a premium position at offensive tackle. Under Omar Khan, Pittsburgh found the sweet spot where the value lined up with the need, and they pounced at the opportunity to take a high-floor tackle prospect with five-position flexibility across the offensive line. Steelers fans are going to love this pick.