Steelers Pre-Draft Visitor Troy Fautanu Sends NFL Message: ‘That’s Lazy Analysis’

Troy Fautanu

Getty Washington offensive lineman Troy Fautanu, who visited the Pittsburgh Steelers on April 15, made it clear he considers himself an offensive tackle.

The Pittsburgh Steelers presumably hosted Washington’s Troy Fautanu as one of their 30 pre-draft visitors on April 15 because they view him as a possible addition at offensive tackle. But in a recent interview with The Draft Network’s Justin Melo, Fantanu had a message for other NFL teams who potentially see him as an interior offensive line addition.

“I think I’m a tackle. Grouping me in a category with the guards because of how tall I am, I honestly feel like it was a lazy narrative that grew legs for some reason,” Fantanu said. “That’s lazy analysis.

“Just watch the tape. I played tackle at a high level. Props to my coaches and my teammates that helped get me to that level. I truly feel like I played the tackle position at a legitimately high level. We made it to the biggest game in college football. I feel like I put my best foot forward against the best opponents throughout the entire season.”

The 2023 postseason awards Fantanu won help prove his point. Fantanu started at left tackle for a Washington offensive line, which captured the Joe Moore Award. That honor is given annually to the top offensive line in college football.

Furthermore, Fantanu won the Morris Trophy as the top offensive or defensive lineman in the Pac-12 last season.

As a 15-game starter during 2023, he also made first-team All-Pac-12 and third-team AP All-American.

Washington’s Troy Fautanu Visits Steelers

In his interview with Melo, Fantanu mentioned the Steelers as one of seven teams he has visited or planned to visit before the NFL draft. Other than the Steelers, those teams included the Dallas Cowboys, Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets.

Fantanu also said that he met with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Rams via Zoom.

It’s not clear if any of those teams view Fantanu more as an interior offensive lineman than tackle at the next level. But according to Steelers Depot’s Ross McCorkle, all but 99 of Fantanu’s college snaps were at offensive tackle.

Standing shy of 6-foot-4, Fantanu is on the shorter side for an NFL tackle. But he has ideal arm length and a lot of draft pundits such as’s Lance Zierlein project him as an offensive tackle at the next level.

“Fautanu needs to prove he has the leverage and hand quickness to play inside, but all signs point toward him becoming a good future starter,” wrote Zierlein.

Fautanu Willing to Play Guard If Need Be

Fautanu made it clear he sees himself as a tackle. But that doesn’t mean he’s not willing to adapt to help his next team.

“My mindset has always been to do whatever’s necessary to get on the field though,” Fautanu told Melo. “I want to play. I can’t make my biggest impact if I’m not on the field. For me, I’ll play wherever at this level.

“At the end of the day, I’m an offensive lineman. I truly feel like my versatility will bring value to the organization.”

That versatility should be valuable to a lot of teams, including the Steelers. But he could immediately challenge for a starting offensive tackle spot in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers need a center, but they are set at both guard positions. So, more than likely, if the Steelers target Fautanu, it will be for him to play right tackle. That will allow 2023 first-rounder Broderick Jones to return to his more natural left tackle spot.

Dan Moore Jr. has started at left tackle for the Steelers the past three seasons.

The consensus big boards at both ESPN and Pro Football Focus have Fautanu rated as a top 15 prospect in the 2024 draft class. The Steelers hold the No. 20 overall pick in the first round.

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