Olu Fashanu Draft Profile
Penn State Left Tackle, Olu Fashanu, was a consensus All-American in 2023 and was given the Rimington-Pace award which goes to the best offensive lineman in college football. Standing at 6’6 317 lbs., Fashanu has a massive lower half with an extremely long reach. Born and raised in Maryland, Fashanu was Caleb Williams’ left tackle at Gonzaga College High School. After not playing in the COVID year at Penn State, Fashanu saw some playing time in 2021, but didn’t start his first game until the bowl game. In his sophomore season, Fashanu was named second team Big-Ten and was looked at as a potential first round pick; however, Fashanu went back to school to get his degree and have another full season starting under his belt. Fashanu clearly delivered and is now being projected as a top ten pick.
Athletically, Fashanu is stronger than he is agile, but that doesn’t mean he can’t move. He is extremely firm and does a great job winning the hand battle; it is rare to see his hands get swiped or get called for holding. While his explosiveness isn’t anything to call home about, it is rare to see him get beat over the top by speed rushes. At times he can look tired when getting out in space, but generally he does a really good job at getting to the second level when he is going to downhill. His biggest strength is his ability to sink into his hips and be a brickwall when he’s put on an island; Fashanu has excellent strength. Despite being 6’6, Fashanu plays low and doesn’t stand up on contact. His core strength is noticeable; when defenders try to rip through and force him to open up in pass protection, Fashanu remains in position and doesn’t lose balance. An area of concern for him is his bend when having to make reach blocks going laterally. He is capable of gaining leverage with spurts of lateral burst and by utilizing his length, but he doesn’t consistently gain proper hat placement on cut-off blocks which allows defenders to retrace or beat him to the ball.
When it comes to the mental makeup of Fashanu’s game, he is super reactive and does a great job recognizing hot defenders and games amongst the defensive line. It is clear that he is intelligent and sticks to his technique. Whether he is replacing his hands or hopping vs power rushes, Fashanu is well coached and leans into the fundamentals. He isn’t overly explosive upon contact and doesn’t have elite knock back in the run game, but his leg drive and punch is where his strength stands out. While he isn’t necessarily known for finishing guys into the ground, he always makes sure to pick his teammates up off of it. All year long, Fashanu was extremely consistent; except for the Ohio State game. He progressively got worse as the game went on, and it seemed like he lost some confidence. With that being said, Fashanu gave up zero sacks on the season and that game really was an outlier for him.
The pass game is where Fashanu shines; he has the best anchor in the draft and strains against every type of rush. The only way to beat Fashanu in the passing game is by beating him off the line of scrimmage; getting him to open up pre-maturely leaves him susceptible to counters. Outside of that, Fashanu is really consistent. His base is always wide, he doesn’t cross over when having to get out of the blocks. He consistently wins the hand battle almost immediately, but if he doesn’t he is quick to correct himself and replace his hands inside. His punch is powerful and there is a noticeable pop, especially vs speed rushes and lighter edges. Fashanu is a very reliable pass protector and teams that frequently operate in the drop-back, progression world should have him at the top of their board.
In the run game, Fashanu looks much better going downhill as opposed to laterally. Rather than being asked to seal and bend for outside zone teams, Fashanu would be a better fit for teams whose bread and butter is gap schemes and moving players vertically. His heavy hands help him displace defenders on combo blocks and his leg drive is a force when down blocking. He struggles on reach blocks and when having to bend the corner. He is not a poor zone blocker, he is just very average. When getting to the second level, Fashanu does a good job at occupying linebackers and safeties. If a team is willing to give some ground in the run game in order to secure a blindside tackle for their quarterback, I believe Fashanu is worth it.
In the NFL, Fashanu aligns as a starting left tackle from day one that will thrive as a pass protector, but will need to improve as a zone blocker in the run game. When it comes to his anchor, hand usage, and leg drive, Fashanu reminds me of a longer version of Tristan Wirfs; however he isn’t as explosive or athletic in the open field as Wirfs. There are only a few cornerstone pass protectors in any given draft, which is why I have a top 12 grade on him. Schematically, Fashanu fits in a traditional drop-back, progression offense that majors in gap scheme runs. In the NFL, I believe Fashanu will need to work on his bend around the corner and movement ability in space. I also believe adding more hard and jump sets into his protection package would be a nice element due to his length, and initial pop. Fashanu will be an above average starting left tackle from day one, and has the potential to one day become a top ten guy if he improves his lateral movement skills.
Feet + COD: 8/12 (Good)
Movement Ability in Space + Bend: 5.33/12 (Average)
Strain + Seal + Strength: 7.78/10 (Very Good)
Anchor + Sink: 8.89/10 (Excellent)
Football IQ: 5.56/10 (Above Average)
Mentality + Violence: 5.56/10 (Above Average)
Point of Contact + Punch: 7.11/8 (Very Good)
Recover + Poise: 4.44/8 (Above Average)
Patience + Hands: 4/6 (Good)
Overall: 56.67/88 (.644)
Final Rating: Above Average Tackle
Pro Comparison: Longer, Less Explosive Tristian Wirfs
Scheme Fits: Gap Scheme, Drop Back Passing Attack
Draft Projection: Top 10 Pick
Draft Grade: Top 12 Pick