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How Penn State’s Olu Fashanu fits with the New York Jets

The NFL draft’s first round did not disappoint, with plenty of surprising picks that will change the course of several NFL team’s futures for years. One of those potential franchise-altering picks was Penn State offensive lineman Olu Fashanu, who was selected 11th overall by the New York Jets.

The Jets are in a “win-now” mode, which had some questioning this move. Despite that, I think this fit makes a ton of sense for both the short and long-term future of the team. Even with the Jets adding two veteran tackles in Tyron Smith and Morgan Moses, Fashanu could end up making an impact for the Jets as early as this season.

The first thing to consider is the health, or lack thereof, of the current tackles on the Jets roster. As great as Smith has been during his career, he has missed at least three games in every season since 2016 and is now 33. Moses himself missed three games last year and is also 33. Even if there technically isn’t an open starting spot now, one is likely to open up at some point in 2024.

Even if Fashanu doesn’t get an opportunity to play much as a rookie, he projects as a franchise left tackle for a team that hasn’t had one for nearly a decade. While he may not end up being the blindside protector for current starting QB Aaron Rodgers, whoever ends up being his successor will now have a guy who can keep him upright for years to come.

Many draft analysts expected the Jets to take a run-game-oriented tackle if they did indeed go that direction in the draft, as they have done in the past. However, for now, and possibly for another year or two, priority number one is keeping a 40-year-old Aaron Rodgers uhttps://nittanylionswire.usatoday.com/wp-admin/edit.php?post_type=usat_social_embedpright as often as possible.

Despite being the third tackle off the board, Fashanu is in a class of his own as a pass protector. The Jets clearly valued that over the more balanced tackles still on the board, and rightfully so in my opinion. While a pick that would be more likely to help them right away would have made sense as they chase a Super Bowl title, Fashanu was too good to pass up.

Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire