Who is Olu Fashanu, the NY Jets’ first round NFL Draft pick?

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Jets started off the 2024 NFL Draft with Penn State tackle Olumuyiwa “Olu” Fashanu as their first round draft pick.

Fashanu only allowed one sack in 29 games for Penn State and was named team MVP in 2023. He was selected 11th overall during Thursday’s draft in Detroit.

The NFL Draft continues with Rounds 2 and 3 starting at 7 p.m. Friday, then Rounds 4 through 7 will be held at noon on Saturday.

Olu Fashanu at Penn State

Fashanu was Penn State’s first consensus All-American offensive lineman since 1995.

Jets general manager Joe Douglas described him as a “proven pass protector.”

“I feel like he can really develop and become an impact player for us moving forward,” said Douglas.

Fashanu, 21, grew up in Waldorf, Maryland and said he made good on a promise to his mother to finish his college education before entering the NFL Draft.

He said he’s excited to learn from Jets’ left tackle Tyron Smith and the rest of the linemen.

“I feel like I am in fairytale,” Fashanu said. “Tyron was my first football inspiration. From the first days I started playing O-Line, he was the first guy I really started watching film on. And for me to get the opportunity to really learn from him and ask him tips questions and advice means the world to me.”

Fashanu on playing with Aaron Rodgers: “I need to go even harder now”

Fashanu said he knew he wanted to play for the Jets “from day one,” especially after meeting head coach Robert Saleh and rest of the coaching staff at the NFL Combine.

“I was going to go really hard and try and learn from whatever team I got drafted by. But now, being on a the same team as Aaron Rodgers and feeling like we can really compete to win, I feel like I need to go even harder now,” he said.

Fashanu said he brings consistency, toughness and grit, and he’s “a great locker room guy, as well.”

“I am the type of player that is going to be the same guy all the time. I am going to come in and work my tail off and compete within the program, because at the end of the day when you compete, you are not only making yourself better, but everyone else better,” he said.

On draft night, Rodgers told The Pat McAfee Show another offensive lineman “wasn’t necessarily top of the needs” in the first round, “but I know they really loved Olu.”

“Excited to welcome him to the team. It’s a great O-line room, very well coached and a lot of great personalities that we added to the mix,” Rodgers said in the interview.

The Jets have their starting five linemen set, but when asked if they see Fashanu playing left tackle in the league, Douglas replied, “I think that’s what he’s had his most success at in high school and obviously has been a dominant left tackle at Penn State the last two seasons.”

“We’ve got a great room of vets that can take him under their wing and great coaches that can help him develop,” he added.

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