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SI Praises New York Jets for Drafting Penn State’s Olu Fashanu



The New York Jets moved back one spot in Round 1 at the NFL Draft and proceeded to make a B+ selection at No. 11 overall.

Selecting Penn State left tackle Olu Fashanu, the Jets secured what many pundits tabbed as the No. 2 offensive tackle prospect in this year’s class. Although a healthy portion of the New York fan base was calling for a first-round offensive weapon, like Georgia tight end Brock Bowers, Sports Illustrated suggested general manager Joe Douglas made the right decision to invest in the trenches.

Spearheaded by Matthew Verderame, the SI national staff issued letter grades for every Round 1 selection moments after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the draftee’s name.

Projecting Fashanu to land a rookie contract worth $20.1 million over four years, SI classified Douglas’s pick as B+ work. The Jets added a potential franchise player that will immediately provide insurance for the team’s two 33-year-old starting offensive tackles.

It should come as no real surprise that Douglas opted for a protector over a shiny new weapon for 40-year-old quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The general manager has repeatedly stressed the importance of building through the trenches, especially at an offensive tackle position where injuries have been commonplace in recent seasons.

“We really can’t have enough at that position. I talked about it earlier, coach talked about it too,” said Douglas. “It was such a unique draft class at the tackle position because we really thought there was a handful of guys that were unbelievable players.”

From SI’s First-Round Grades for All 32 Picks:

“Fashanu started 21 games, dominating at left tackle. Beyond Alt, many draft experts had Fashanu as the best tackle in the class, giving the Jets a tone-setter on the left side.

Fashanu’s tape shows someone with tremendous strength who plays a well-rounded game. Without question, he’s one of the more ready-made starters in this crop, regardless of position.”

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