Top prospect is gift-wrapped to Steelers in latest NFL mock draft

Omar Khan should run to the podium to turn in his card if this prospect is still available to Pittsburgh at pick 20.

NFL Combine - Portraits
NFL Combine - Portraits / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages

The 2024 NFL Draft is rapidly approaching, and as the free-agent waters begin to calm down, we are getting a clearer picture of where teams could be heading with their top pick this April. The Pittsburgh Steelers filled holes at quarterback, linebacker, and cornerback in free agency, but several major needs still remain.

One of these needs comes in the offensive tackle position. Despite trading up to the 14th overall pick to select Georgia OT Broderick Jones in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Steelers still have a significant hole at tackle, and Dan Moore Jr. did not get the job done in his third NFL season last year.

Because of this, offensive tackle has been a position that is frequently mocked to the Steelers with the 20th overall pick. This happens to be a loaded OT class, but a run on the best tackle prospects early usually means that Pittsburgh ends up with JC Latham, Amarius Mims, or Tyler Guyton in mock drafts.

Not this time. The most recent 2024 mock draft from Ben Standig of The Athletic has Penn State's Olumuyiwa Fashanu falling into Pittsburgh's lap with the 20th overall pick in the first round. Here's what Standig had to say about the pick:

"20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State
Based on potential, Fashanu is worthy of being the second tackle selected. “(Fashanu) is a true left tackle,” said one scout. “The rest (other than Joe Alt) are top-tier right tackles or fine at left tackle, but not elite.” Caleb Williams’ high school teammate might also need the most developmental time among the projected first-rounders. Only because the draft is loaded at tackle does Fashanu remain on the board here, and the Steelers pounce to acquire a bookend tackle with 2023 first-round pick Broderick Jones."

Ben Standig, via The Athletic

Standig notes that the 2024 draft is loaded with offensive tackle talent, and this could come down to preference for some teams. While Fashanu has outstanding developmental traits for the position, he isn't as pro-ready as several of the top OT prospects entering the draft.

Olu Fashanu would be an excellent fit with the Steelers

Like Broderick Jones, Fashanu isn't a finished prospect. His technique gets sloppy at times, and he needs to do a better job re-anchoring after taking a false step. However, the upside is tremendous, and he's an ideal scheme fit for what the Steelers would like to do in Arthur Smith's wide zone offense.

At 6'6'' and 312 pounds with a wingspan of 82 3/4'', Olu Fashanu has exceptional size that would make him an ideal left tackle in the NFL. This selection would likely mean that Broderick will permanently stick at right tackle, but Jones showed promise in his first snaps at RT as a rookie.

Fashanu is a quick-footed athlete with silky-smooth movement skills that will allow him to get in space laterally in the wide zone offense.

What's best about this selection is that Fashanu is a player who shouldn't be on the board at this point. Though there are concerns about his tiny hands (8 1/2'' inches), his elite athletic traits routinely show up on tape and Fashanu took a big step forward in his first full season as a starter in 2023.

Fashanu just turned 21 years old and is one of the youngest players in the draft, and he's currently the 14th overall player on NFL Mock Draft Database's consensus board. If he is gift-wrapped to the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 20th overall pick, they should run their card to the podium with this selection.