Joe Douglas Provides Plan for New York Jets' First-Round Left Tackle

The New York Jets drafted a top-tier offensive tackle at No. 11 overall and GM Joe Douglas has since laid out his expectations for Olu Fashanu.
Apr 25, 2024; Detroit, MI, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions tackle Olumuyiwa Fashanu is selected as the
Apr 25, 2024; Detroit, MI, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions tackle Olumuyiwa Fashanu is selected as the / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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It's becoming clear that New York Jets' general manager Joe Douglas wanted to come away from the NFL draft with a future franchise left tackle.

Trading down one slot, and garnering extra picks in the process, the Jets used their first-round selection on Penn State bookend Olu Fashanu, who was viewed as the No. 2 offensive tackle prospect behind Notre Dame's Joe Alt on multiple reputable draft boards.

"We felt it was a really good tackle group. For us, there were still a lot of good blockers left [at No. 11 overall], but with Olu you're just getting a highly productive left tackle. That was a priority — someone that can play left tackle," said Douglas during an April 30 appearance on ESPN's DiPietro and Rothenberg radio show.

Douglas, who has routinely expressed his affinity for nasty offensive linemen, sounded enamored by Fashanu's abilities.

"Just his pass protection, his production — very little pressures, no sacks," he said. "Just a very sound pass protector, and has been a very good run blocker in our opinion."

Fashanu made 20 starts for Penn State at left tackle over the last two seasons. In 2023, he logged 382 pass blocking snaps over a 12-game sample while not allowing a sack. The team captain went on to win the Rimington-Pace Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year award.

Meanwhile, Fashanu will likely be a backup come Week 1 in the NFL since the Jets acquired left tackle Tyron Smith and right tackle Morgan Moses to presumably start.

Although he may eventually take ownership of the New York's starting left tackle spot, Fashanu's reps will vary in the near term.

"I feel like tackle is what he's played his entire career in high school and college. He'll get out here at practice, and we'll have him get into a left tackle stance, get into a right tackle stance. He's going to practice a lot of different positions here," said Douglas.

With Smith and Moses, two grizzled 33-year-olds, ahead of him on the depth chart, Fashanu has an opportunity to learn from a pair of consummate pros.

"He's gonna add to a great room and be with two top-tier veteran players, and people, in Tyron and Morgan," said Douglas.

Ralph Ventre


Ralph, a former college football conference administrator, brings 20 years of media experience to the New York Jets beat. Prior to concentrating on Gang Green, he covered the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision for NFL Draft Bible on FanNation. Ventre remains as an official voter for the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 and the annual legacy awards. The Fordham University graduate is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. The veteran sports media professional resides in his native state of New Jersey.