NFL player comparison for Penn State star OL Olu Fashanu

As the NFL draft season continues to ramp up, several Penn State prospects will continue to be analyzed, scrutinized, and likely compared to NFL players as a way to get a feel for what they could be at the next level. For star tackle Olu Fashanu, that process has already led to questions about where he should be picked among a very strong class of linemen this year.

Some analysts, like Daniel Jeremiah, think Fashanu needs more consistency as a run blocker and needs to improve against power rushers. He also has a tendency to play with a high pad level at 6’6″. His athleticism as a pass protector and his natural strength make him a high-upside left tackle, but he isn’t a complete player at his young age.

To me, that sounds a lot like Las Vegas Raiders left tackle Kolton Miller. Miller is taller (6’9″) and leaner (309 vs 325) than Fashanu, but their strengths and weaknesses coming out of college are eerily similar. Like Fashanu, Miller was praised for his movement skills and upside as a pass protector. He was also dinged for his ability to run block effectively and trouble with pad level.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There are some differences between them aside from their size, particularly Fashanu’s strength advantage. Still, Fashanu could face a similar learning curve that Miller had to work through early in his career. Like most rookie tackles Miller struggled in his first season in both pass protection and as a run blocker. His second season showed a lot of growth as a blindside protector, but he still was a liability in the run game. Finally, in his third season, he developed into a much more well-rounded tackle and is now considered one of the better players at his position.

If Fashanu can follow that same route, any team selecting in the top 15 of the draft would be lucky to have him. He has even more upside than Miller in my opinion thanks to his already advanced technique and stronger build. Only time will tell if he too can develop into a franchise tackle for whoever selects him.

Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire