American Football

2024 NFL Draft: Taliese Fuaga could be the answer to the Arizona Cardinals offensive line question

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Oregon State v Oregon
Photo by Brandon Sloter/Image Of Sport/Getty Images

The talented Oregon State product could be a guard or tackle in the NFL.

Over the next couple of weeks, leading up to the 2024 NFL Draft we will take a look at close to 30 prospects to know.

Within that, we will use the excellent work of Dane Brugler, who has just released his “The Beast” 2024 NFL Draft Guide. I highly recommend taking a peek and signing up for The Athletic if only to get Dane’s guide.

It is always an exhaustive work, and he should be commended.

With that said, we will go in order of Dane’s Big Board and use his final analysis as the wrap up of each prospect.

Next up, let’s take a look at Dane’s 17th ranked prospect, the massive tackle prospect Taliese Fuaga, who could be the long-term answer for the Arizona Cardinals at right tackle… or left guard.

Dane’s Take:

A two-year starter at Oregon State, Fuaga was entrenched at right tackle in former head coach Jonathan Smith’s zone-based run scheme. He became the starting right tackle prior to the 2022 season and finished his career starting 25 straight games, earning team captain and All-American status in 2023. Arguably the top run-blocking lineman in the draft, Fuaga is quick into contact and creates immediate displacement with his aggressive mentality and stiff, controlled hands.

Fuaga is so talented as a run blocker, he overwhelms with his rare blend of size, speed and power.

Though he has functional athleticism and technique for the edges, his first reflex is to use his hands in pass pro, which leads to him oversetting or undersetting versus pass-rush counters (and highlights his lack of elite range and length).

Fuaga projects as well, and while he may be more of a mauler, he was showing improvements in his pass protection.

Overall, Fuaga has only average play range and can be dinged here and there for minor flaws, but he has the size, core strength and balance to be a plug-and-play starter in the NFL (reminiscent of Taylor Decker). Some teams view him best inside at guard, while others want to keep him at right tackle (Duke Manyweather compares him to Mike Iupati).

What would you think of a left side of PJJ and Fuaga?

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