Jets trade back to No. 11 select Penn State tackle Olu Fashanu as their first pick in the draft.

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The Jets moved back to No. 11 in the NFL Draft, allowing Minnesota to move up to No. 10, making it the first trade of the evening. The Jets, under head coach Robert Saleh, selected Penn State lineman Olu Fashanu with the eleventh choice in an attempt to strengthen their offensive line and protect quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the upcoming 2024 campaign.

Jets trade back to No. 11 select Penn State tackle Olu Fashanu
Jets trade back to No. 11 select Penn State tackle Olu Fashanu

Following the trade and selection, general manager Joe Douglas declared, “We’re thrilled to have Olu join the Jets.”

After suffering an injury in 2022, Penn State’s four-year player and two-year starter at left tackle Fashanu recovered well in the 2023 campaign. The Associated Press selected him a first-team All-American and Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year. Additionally, Fashanu was included in the group of finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy, sometimes referred to as “the Academic Heisman.”
Fashanu felt strongly that he and the Jets were a perfect fit during his visits with NFL teams.
On Thursday night, Fashanu told the team’s reporters, “They showed interest.” “It wasn’t more than what other teams showed, but after the visit and Combine, the Jets felt like the right place for me.”

Joe Douglas, the general manager, emphasized Fashanu’s capabilities, highlighting his tenacity as a left tackle in a top conference and his outstanding pass protection abilities. In addition to praising Fashanu’s run-blocking skills, Douglas called him a resilient and competitive player who doesn’t get enough credit for his overall contributions.

“You are familiar with me. The more the merrier, O-line, D-line,” said Saleh. You can never have too much,” the coach said, adding that Tyron Smith and Morgan Moses, two experienced tackles, will help Fashanu adjust to life as a professional. They offer a plethora of expertise in terms of professionalism, preparation, and technique at this caliber. It’s merely the young man’s 21st birthday. He is only beginning his career.”

Top of Form

Fashanu sees several benefits in the chance to join the green and white as early as next week’s rookie minicamp. The opportunity to play with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, fellow tackles Tyron Smith and Morgan Moses, and guys he has respected since high school in Washington, DC, are three of the main reasons.

” Being on the same team as Aaron Rodgers and seeing all the amazing things he has accomplished over his career, as well as getting advise on what made him successful, is an amazing opportunity, Fashanu said.
Fashanu voiced his incredulity about Tyron Smith by stating, “I feel like I’m living a fairytale.” As a tackle, he was the first player I ever studied when I started watching films. He established the gold standard for left tackles at that point. Likewise, Fashanu conveyed his appreciation for Morgan Moses, saying, “I’ve watched him play a lot on film. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have the chance to pick the brains of two seasoned tackles.”

The Jets not only acquired the 10th overall pick but also acquired the Vikings’ 203rd pick in exchange for their sixth-round selection. They received the 11th pick of the Vikings in exchange for their 129th and 157th round selections in the fourth and fifth rounds, respectively. Through this transaction, the Jets were able to obtain valuable selections for upcoming rounds while carefully leveraging their draft positions.

We’ll assess how the rest of this round plays out, create our board for tomorrow night, and think through five or six possible moves up or down. These additional choices allow us to freely investigate different possibilities.”

The Jets have often selected Penn State players throughout the years, and Fashanu is the 28th Nittany Lion to be selected by the Green & White. Numerous noteworthy Penn State players that were chosen by the Jets were mainly defenders. LB Lance Mehl (69th pick in 1980), LB Greg Buttle (67th pick in 1976), LB Ralph Baker (43rd pick in 1964), S Harry Hamilton (176th pick in 1984), and DT Lou Benfatti (94th pick in 1994) all followed in this tradition.

In more recent drafts, offensive players from Penn State have been prominent, including TE Mickey Shuler (61st pick in 1978), RB Blair Thomas (2nd pick in 1990), OL Roger Duffy (196th pick in 1990), FB Richie Anderson (144th pick in 1993), TE Kyle Brady (9th pick in 1995), T Kareem McKenzie (79th pick in 2001), and most notably, QB Christian Hackenberg (51st pick in 2016).

Mekhi Becton of Louisville, selected 11th overall in the 2020 draft, is one of the tackles the Jets have previously selected in the first round. D’Brickashaw Ferguson was taken fourth overall from Virginia in 2006, the year before. LT Chris Ward (Ohio State, 1978), RT Marvin Powell (Southern Cal, 1977), Dave Cadigan (8th selection in 1988), Mike Haight (22nd pick in 1986), Dave Foley (26th pick in 1969), and William Yearby (13th pick in 1966) from their AFL days are among the other notable first-round tackles for the Jets.

 

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