2024 NFL Draft: Oregon State OT Taliese Fuaga scouting report

In today’s NFL, when pass-rushers come from everywhere on the line, the difference in value between left tackles and right tackles has dissipated to a great degree.

That’s good news for Oregon State tackle Taliese Fuaga, who racked up 1,564 snaps over three seasons for the Beavers — all of them at right tackle. In previous eras, that might push Fuaga down draft boards, but you can bet it won’t in 2024. Fuaga had been just about impenetrable in pass protection through his collegiate career; he never gave up a sack in college, and there were just a handful of pass-rushers who got past him at all.

For NFL teams in the know about how important right tackles can be, Fuaga will be a highly-cherished prospect, probably hearing his name called in the top half of the first round.

PLUSES

— Didn’t allow a single sack (and gave up just 23 total pressures) in 734 pass-blocking reps over three seasons with the Beavers.

— Has a great sense of how to use his hands to disrupt and re-direct rushers; Fuaga believes in delivering the first blow.

— Violent hands, which he’ll deploy with quick arm stabs. Had Laiatu Latu in pure hell with this against UCLA.

— Can also “catch” rushers by letting them come to him; Fuaga isn’t just an aggressor.

— Has a nimble kick-step, which gives him an edge through the arc more often than not. He’ll mirror through the rep and maintain the pocket.

— Uses his leverage and desire to dominate to just blow guys out on the move.

— Aggressive run-blocker who can bowl people over in gap and seal the edge in zone.

MINUSES

— Will lose defenders who cross his face at times; he’ll recover well, but he could stand to turn into those protections.

— Can lose his landmarks on the move; he’s not always exact when he’s running from Point A to Point B.

— Needs to be on time with the snap; he’s not a late “recoverer” to the defender. This shows up against wide-9 rushers to his outside shoulder, and inside counters.

— Spin moves can also be a problem; I imagine his NFL coaches will work with him on techniques to maintain later in the down.

Fuaga has the talent and the skill set to work well as a plug-and-play right tackle. I might prefer him in a gap-prevalent offense with multiple run schemes and heavy play-action, but there isn’t much he can’t do, and the refinements will be well worth the effort.

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Title: 2024 NFL Draft: Oregon State OT Taliese Fuaga scouting report
Author: Doug Farrar

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