Prospect Spotlight; Washington OT Troy Fautanu

Fautanu was a finalist for Polynesian College Football Player of the Year.
Fautanu was a finalist for Polynesian College Football Player of the Year. / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

Name: Troy Fautanu
Position: Offensive Tackle
School: Washington
Age (Draft Day): 23
Height/Weight: 6'3", 317 lbs


It feels like Fautanu is new to the offensive tackle conversation. Up until the combine, it was assumed that Fautanu would have to kick inside to guard in the NFL. He had started 30 games at left tackle for Washington, but he was a bit short for a tackle, giving him a build more commonly seen with guards. However, Fautanu measured in with 34-and-a-half-inch arms at the combine, which is the 67th percentile for offensive tackles. That finally shifted the tide around Fautanu that he can play tackle at the next level. Fautanu's combine performance did not finish there either, as he hit the 90th and 91st percentile in the vertical and broad jump. His explosiveness can be traced back to a history as a high school volleyball player in addition to playing football.

The Las Vegas native really came into his own during his fifth year at Washington. He earned 1st-team All-Pac 12 and 3rd-team All-American honors as the Huskies reached the national championship game for the first time in program history. His position versatility and impressive length make him a very enticing prospect.


Explosiveness: I already touched on it, but Fautanu is more than capable of launching into action right off the snap. He has good foot speed and agility, but his change of direction and ability to launch into defenders makes him an impact player.

Leverage: One of the benefits of being on the shorter side for the position is the natural leverage it creates. Fautanu also does a nice job of playing with a good pad level, but he can punch up and get underneath defenders' shoulder pads, giving him a leg up.

Awareness: Fautanu is a wizard at picking up stunts. He does a really nice job passing them off and keeps his head on a swivel. He tends to realize that if he does not have anyone to block right off the snap that he should help out elsewhere without totally vacating his spot in pass protection. He does a nice job locating the quarterback when the pocket moves or he doubles back to make an additional block.

Balance: Perhaps this is also tied to Fautanu's shorter stature, but he is very difficult to knock off balance. His kick slide is much improved in 2023 and he does an excellent job keeping his feet under him. All of that leads to a player you will rarely see get blown up in the run game and who handles pass rush moves very well.


Easily overextended: For as long as Fautanu might be, he struggles at times when he does not make initial contact or when he has a speedy player rushing off the outside. He will get caught leaning and missing his strike zone, which opens him to get beat very quickly off the line. A little more patience should help minimize how frequently this pops up in the NFL.

Base strength: Fautanu has really good upper body strength. He can bench press defenders and knock people sideways on combo blocks. However, his lower body lacks the same type of power. He has good footwork, which will sometimes mask those strength deficiencies, but stronger defensive ends are able to bullrush Fautanu and generate some push.

Hand usage: This is probably the first thing any NFL offensive line coach is going to work on with Fautanu when he gets in the building. His technique and placement with his hands are very inconsistent and erratic. He makes up for it with his length and athleticism, but he can struggle with true technicians. It is definitely a correctable aspect of his game, but it could lead to some growing pains early on.

NFL Comparison: Rodger Saffold

Rodger Saffold
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills / Bryan M. Bennett/GettyImages

Saffold came out of Indiana as an offensive tackle and started as such in the NFL when he began his career with the Rams. Injuries and inconsistent play saw him struggle to hold down a starting spot. He became something of a utility player, lining up at both guard spots and right tackle. The move seemed permanent though as Saffold has largely played guard over the past eight years. I think Fautanu has a better chance to stick at tackle, but a fallback of being a high-level guard with position versatility for close to 15 years would be a hell of a career for him.

NFL Draft Outlook: Top 20 pick

Fautanu has gone up in my eyes as a potential starting option at tackle since the combine. Even if he wasn't, teams were going to value him as a plug-and-play option at guard. I could see him coming off the board as early as No. 10 to the Jets. The Raiders, Saints and Seahawks all feel like possible landing spots in the first round.

Grade: 88.5