Prospect Preview: could Olumuyiwa Fashanu be the perfect selection for the Saints?

Penn State's Olumuyiwa Fashanu is regarded as one of the best tackles in this year's draft. He could be the perfect pick for the New Orleans Saints at 14.

Penn State v Maryland
Penn State v Maryland / G Fiume/GettyImages

Offensive tackle is a position that the New Orleans Saints must address this offseason. There are major questions surrounding Trevor Penning, James Hurst, and the health of Ryan Ramczyk. The Saints will have a great opportunity to bolster the position in this year's NFL draft. They lucked out as there is a multitude of talent at the position entering the league. One of the most intriguing prospects that the Saints should go after is Olumuyiwa Fashanu.

Fashanu is regarded as one of the, if not the, best tackles in this year’s draft. In PFF’s recent mock draft, they had Fashanu falling to the Saints at 14. That would be an amazing selection for the Saints at arguably their biggest position of need.

Fashanu has a great frame for a tackle standing at 6-foot-6 and weighing 319 pounds. His frame doesn’t slow him down either, as he is an ultra-athletic player. He is very quick and uses that to his advantage. He doesn't give up on a play and in the run game, he is a very good blocker. Penn State runs a zone run scheme, which the Saints, under new offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak, will be running this year. That will benefit Fashanu greatly as he already has experience and has produced in that scheme.

In the past two years at Penn State, he has played 1,264 snaps. In those snaps, he hasn’t given up a sack and has allowed only one quarterback hit. The level of his competition is high as well playing in the Big 10. This competition level should make his transition to the NFL a bit easier for him.

Fans have criticized the Saints for taking prospects that could be categorized as project players. These are players who have to develop to succeed in the NFL but show great traits. Olumuyiwa Fashanu doesn’t fit this category. Fashanu has amazing traits but he is regarded as NFL-ready. He contains very high potential and could be a cornerstone for the Saints franchise. It is hard to criticize Fashanu’s play. He can struggle with having a high pad level at times but that should improve with repetition and coaching.

Although the Saints have questions about their offensive tackles going forward, there are plenty of answers in this year's draft. If Olumuyiwa Fashanu is on the board at 14 the Saints should immediately pick him. Fashanu contains all of the tools to be the Saint's next franchise offensive tackle.