This Taliese Fuaga prediction isn’t what Saints fans want to hear

The New Orleans Saints have high expectations for rookie offensive lineman Taliese Fuaga, but some people are arguing that expectations should be lowered.
Oregon State v Oregon
Oregon State v Oregon / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

The New Orleans Saints had the 14th-overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, and they used the pick to select offensive lineman Taliese Fuaga. Fuaga is a physical lineman that impressed the Saints with his play and his personality. Considering the circumstances of New Orleans’ offensive line, the team is hoping Fuaga can contribute from day one.

It’s possible that the Saints could only be returning two starting linemen from last season. Andrus Peat is now with the Las Vegas Raiders, James Hurst is retired, and Ryan Ramczyk had a knee surgery that left his future in question. Even if Ramczyk is healthy and ready to go, New Orleans will still have to fill the left tackle and left guard role.

Fuaga is expected to address at least one of those roles. The question, however, is if he can be a quality starter as a rookie. Matt Holder of Bleacher Report isn’t convinced that he can.

Bleacher Report has concerns about Taliese Fuaga

In a piece projecting year-one impact for all the first rounders, Holder explained that while Fuaga is a great run blocker, there are some concerns about his ability in pass protection at tackle. Holder went on to talk about the challenge of going from right to left tackle. All in all, Holder argued, “Between switching positions and projecting better on the inside, the Oregon State product might stumble out of the gates this season.”

Holder brings up fair points; Fuaga could struggled out of the gate. The NFL is already hard, and switching positions on the offensive line isn’t going to make the transition any easier. However, it’s fair to say that everyone would be ok with Fuaga stumbling out the gate as long as he can get things right eventually. Everyone typically has growing pains, but if Fuaga can figure things by mid season, the Saints will be just fine.