Insider Shuts Down Position Change Buzz for Top Jets Draft Pick

Olu Fashanu, NFL Combine

Getty Former Penn State OL Olu Fashanu speaking at the 2024 NFL Combine.

The New York Jets selected Penn State offensive lineman Olu Fashanu with the No. 11 overall pick in the first round of the 2024 NFL draft. There has been some early hubbub that the team could shift him to a different position to get him on the field sooner.

However, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated shut that down in a column he posted on Monday, May 6.

“Putting all of that together, the Jets saw a guy who could be a long-term answer at one of the most important positions on the field. So the plan for now is to work with him at that position behind Tyron Smith rather than move him somewhere else,” Breer explained.

Jets Have to Learn From Past Mistakes

The Jets had its starting five offensive linemen already penciled in ahead of the draft. At the offensive tackle spots, Tyron Smith and Morgan Moses are locked in. That doesn’t leave an obvious spot for Fashanu to step into.

That led to some speculation on social media that Fashanu could either kick inside to guard or even flip over to right tackle.

Throughout Fashanu’s football career, he has played exclusively as a left tackle. That is where he is projected to suit up for the green and white during his NFL career.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In 2022 the Jets selected offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker in the first round.

During that rookie campaign, AVT stayed at one position and showed a lot of promise. After that season, the Jets played him all across the line playing four of the five possible offensive line positions.

AVT has struggled with health during that run missing 22 games over the last two years. Head coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas have admitted that the constant changing of positions has contributed to AVT’s inability to stay healthy.

The Jets should try and learn from the mistakes of the past. Plus Smith hasn’t played a full season since 2015. That likely means Fashanu is going to get some sort of action in his rookie season. It makes more sense to keep him at the same position he will play for the rest of his career instead of randomly throwing him somewhere else for a prisoner-of-the-moment decision.

Reacting to Latest Post-Draft Jets Buzz

ESPN NFL Insider Jeremy Fowler shared some interesting post-draft takeaways from some conversations with league execs on Tuesday, May 7.

He revealed that Gang Green had been “pretty set” on selecting Fashanu for a while. The only thing that would have changed that is the potential availability of Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze, per Fowler. Odunze was selected one pick before the Jets at No. 9 overall to the Chicago Bears.

It appears that the Jets’ interest in Georgia tight end Brock Bowers was a smokescreen. Fowler said Gang Green considered taking Bowers but it wasn’t a “major” consideration.

Right before the draft, there was a report from Tony Pauline that Washington offensive lineman Troy Fautanu had a medical red flag on his knee. Fowler confirmed that same report saying the Jets, “had some long-term durability concerns about him.”

Finally, he confirmed that Aaron Rodgers had watched a tape on Jets rookie Malachi Corley during the pre-draft process and got “excited” about him.

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