The Go Long substack has been posting anonymous scout opinions on each position group leading up to the draft, and Bob McGinn published first-round reactions following Thursday evening’s events. In his reaction, he called Steelers first-round pick Troy Fautanu one of the biggest steals of the first round.

“As much as I came away liking [Fautanu’s] athleticism, aggressiveness and meanness, it paled in comparison to the evaluation of scouts. Nobody had a bad word to say about him. That’s rare,” McGinn wrote.

So let’s revisit his offensive line post with scout opinions from Apr. 18th to see what NFL scouts had to say of the pick. One of the exercises he does for each position group is have the anonymous scouts rank each player in numbered order to get a composite score for who is the best in the draft class. The only two players rated higher than Fautanu (47 points) were Notre Dame OT Joe Alt (87 points) and Alabama OT JC Latham (58 points), and they both were selected in the top-7 picks of the draft.

“He may be the best pure athlete of the whole group,” one scout said.

Measuring in at 6036, 317 pounds, with 34 1/2-inch arms, he ran a 5.01-second 40-yard dash, and had an impressive 32.5-inch vertical. His athleticism is very evident on tape with his ability to move in space and fit into blocks under control. Both plays in this clip show off his movement skills perfectly.

“I thought he was a dominant player,” said another scout. “Only negative I had is he’ll be 24 (in October).”

If age is the only negative a scout can find, that is a pretty positive review overall.

“I don’t doubt that he [can] play tackle, but he’ll be a really good guard,” one scout said. “Athletic, quick, competitive. Really good kid. He can be inconsistent with his technique at times. He can lunge at times. But there’s no glaring holes.”

Mike Tomlin already shut down any talks of viewing him as a guard in the press conference following the pick. They view him as a tackle.

Most of the iOL talk surrounding Troy Fautanu has to do with his height with 6036 being on the shorter end of NFL tackles. But for what he lacks in height he makes up for with above average arm length. Tomlin even suggested that they appreciate his stature. The arm length is what matters, the lack of height will only help with leverage.

“I could see him playing left tackle because his pass pro is unreal. Plus he’s got some prick in him,” another scout said. “The combination of mean and athletic usually doesn’t happen. Usually you’re asking for one or the other. Of the top guys, he has the best feet.”

Good hands and good feet are skills that translate all across the offensive line. The Steelers have some decisions ahead of them on which of Fautanu and Broderick Jones will be the left tackle versus the right tackle, but that is a good problem to have. Landing top talents at tackle in back-to-back drafts should be able to help transform this offense from the struggles of the last several years.


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