Player Spotlight: Washington Offensive Tackle Troy Fautanu

NFL Combine
NFL Combine / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

Name: Troy Fautanu

Position: Offensive Tackle

School: Washington

Age (Draft Day): 23

Height/Weight: 6'3 3/4", 317 lbs.


Washington offensive tackle Troy Fautanu was a 4-star prospect, and the top recruit out of Nevada in the 2018 recruiting class. After red-shirting his first year, Fautanu spent the next two years as a rotational swing tackle, before finally winning the starting left tackle job in 2022. The young Husky would go on to allow 38 pressures and only 2 sacks in his two years as a starter, per PFF.


Elite Athleticism: Fautanu is maybe the best pure mover in the 2024 tackle class. He is wildly explosive off the line of scrimmage, consistently beating everyone on the field out of their stances. He has high-end flexibility and hip quickness. This allows him to effortlessly mirror edge defenders through the duration of their rush, and paired with his lateral agility, keeps his inside shoulder protected. His 5.01 sec 40-yard dash time and 1.7 sec 10-yard split are also both above the 93rd percentile among tackles per The speed was easy to identify on film with how often he was deployed in space as a run blocker, where he consistently beat opponents to their landmarks, and chased down run defenders in violent pursuit.

Talented Zone Scheme Run Blocker: Troy Fautanu is a rare athlete for his size, and thus has a rare skill set for zone running plays. His quickness and explosive ability at the snap allowed him to frequently cut off run defenders on the backside, and with his outstanding 34 1/2 inch arms, made him an excellent reach blocker. His hand accuracy dramatically improved throughout the 2023 season, and enabled him to sustain blocks for much longer periods of time. When uncovered, Troy is a sight to behold working to the second level. Not only is he often able to beat backers and box safeties to their landmarks, but his desire and ability to bury them into the turf is remarkable.

Creative Pass Protector: As a smaller tackle, things aren't always clean and crisp in pass protection for Fautanu. That said, his ability to adjust and quickly reposition should keep him afloat on the blindside in the NFL. Troy constantly varies his pass sets, throwing lateral, 45-degree, and vertical sets at random to his opponents. His natural movement talent allows him to do each of these at a high level, and never let pass rushers settle into his routine. Fautanu is also a very admirable player in recovery. His feet and hips are often quick enough to reposition himself in a way that, at the very least, allows him to lose the rep slowly. He very rarely is beaten to the point of no return.


Undersized Build at Tackle: The biggest knock on Fautanu's game by far is his size. 6'3 3/4" is only 3rd percentile among NFL tackle prospects per In his pass sets, Troy will definitely give solid chunks of ground against stronger bull rushes. Though his feet are usually able to anchor themselves rather quickly, that space that he gives at first contact will lead to tighter pockets for his quarterbacks to maneuver in. Similarly, Fautanu doesn't create a ton of displacement at the point of attack on gap runs. It's important to note that the general discourse regarding Fautanu's size has a lot more to do with him kicking inside to guard than it does with him not being able to compete in the NFL overall.

Overaggressive in Pass Sets: Troy's pass protection plan is a lot more confrontational than other tackles in this class. Most often in his lateral sets, he will look to shoot his hands early to attain control on the rep. This strategy primarily worked in his favor, but occasionally his overzealousness would allow rushers to attack his hands mid-extension and pull them through their chests, using his momentum against him. Additionally, his immense explosiveness at the snap would cause him over set in one direction, leaving open angles to the passer.

NFL Comparison: Jedrick Wills Jr.

Jedrick Wills Jr.
Baltimore Ravens v Cleveland Browns / Jason Miller/GettyImages

Jedrick Wills Jr. was drafted 10th overall by the Cleveland Browns in 2020. Like Fautanu, Wills was an extremely explosive, and athletic undersized tackle prospect, with surprisingly long arms. Per Wills and Fautanu are 83.8% athletic comparisons. As NFL Network's Lance Zierlein described him,

"Wills falls below the height/length norm for tackles, but his quick, well-timed punches and varied approach prevent defenders from finding rush rhythms and using length against him. Agility and body control allow him to handle move-blocking duties successfully, but his leverage and elite transference of power from hips to his hands provide a big advantage as a body mover at the point of attack. His desire to control each snap occasionally leads to over-sets and lunging in an effort to stay ahead of opponents."

Lance Zierlein

Though Wills has had an up and down start to his career as Cleveland Brown, he has still been an okay starting caliber player at left tackle for them. His skill set coming out of Alabama to me, feels a lot like what Troy Fautanu brings to the table.

Draft Projection

Troy Fautanu's role in the NFL will likely be unknown until his landing spot is determined in April. Though his length and tape, to me, clearly demonstrate his ability to play left tackle, other NFL teams may not view him in that way. He is a rare athlete at the position, and if used properly, has the capability to change the complexion of his team's run game. He has the craftiness and movement talent that should warrant him a shot at tackle for his next team, but if not, he will still dominate at guard. Regardless of position, Fautanu has one of the highest floors among any player in this year's class and thus should be an easy first-round selection.

Round Grade: First Round Pick