by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of 247Sports.
At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Oregon State, Tackle, Taliese Fuaga
Name- Taliese Fuaga
Team- Oregon State
HT/WT- 6’6” 334 lbs.
Home – Tacoma, WA
Fuaga was a 3-star rated offensive and defensive lineman by both 247Sports and Rivals and was named First Team All-League on the offensive line as a senior. He was considered one of the best offensive lineman in the country and was picked to play in the 2020 Polynesian Bowl. He selected Oregon State over other division one offers and stated, “It was the best fit for me and my family.”
In 2020, Fuaga only saw action in 4 games and was given a redshirt by the Beavers. The 2021 season saw his playing time increase, he played in 10 games and was also made the Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll.
Last season, Fuaga had his coming out party, starting all 13 games and was consistent and dominating all year long. He graded out at 80.8 by Pro Football Focus and was named All-Pac 12 First Team as well as a PFF All-American Honorable Mention.
This season, he has kept up his domination and was named a mid-season All-American after starting the first 9 games.
Taliese Fuaga is most comfortable in the ground game and plays with an angry disposition. He is a brawler who will keep hitting and driving through the whistle. He plays with a good balance and leverage and can handle bull rushers of any size. Fuaga is agile enough to be a dominating blocker on the second level and has good size and length which helps him on the edge. He uses his hands effectively and understands where the pass rushers are coming from. He has a strong lower body, which he utilizes in the run game and drives through opponents.
On the downside, Fuaga has problems with lunging and reaching at faster opponents and loses his balance and strength in contact. He can be impatient and will not wait for defenders to come to him and make the first move, instead reaching for them. He will need to improve his footwork on pass blocking and could be susceptible to getting beat against quicker opponents. He is not smooth on his drop step as a pass rusher and will need to work on his mechanics in the passing game. Fuaga is more comfortable as a run blocker than a pass blocker.
Fuaga’s style of play is reminiscent of Alijah Vera-Tucker, who was a first round selection in 2021 out of USC. Vera-Tucker has continued being a force at run blocking in the NFL for the New York Jets but still has his shortcomings at pass blocking. Fuaga has the ability to be the same kind of tackle in the NFL and with his mean demeanor, can become a pro bowler.
Demeanor through whistle
Being named a midseason All-American will only help his rising draft stock. He should go early day 2 and has the makeup of an offensive lineman who can make a name for himself in the league.
Draft 412 Draft Projection - Round 2 or 3