NFL Draft News & Analysis

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Oregon State OT Taliese Fuaga

2WFMWT0 MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 31: National offensive lineman Taliese Fuaga of Oregon State (72) during the National team practice for the Reese's Senior Bowl on January 31, 2024 at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

 

The 2024 NFL Draft is fast approaching. The PFF big board is live, mock draft season is in full swing and the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine has wrapped up.

This year’s offensive line draft class boasts plenty of high-end talent. Notre Dame’s Joe Alt and Oregon State’s Taliese Fuaga are among the headliners, though top interior players like Oregon’s Jackson Powers-Johnson are also being selected in the first round of mock drafts.

With 12 offensive linemen in the top 50 of PFF’s big board, it’s an excellent year to need offensive line help.

Let's look at Oregon State‘s Taliese Fuaga, who was selected to second-team All-Pac-12 in 2022 and first-team All-Pac-12 in 2023.


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SCOUTING SUMMARY

Fuaga is the kind of ass-kicker every NFL team wants in the trenches. He has a finisher’s mentality in the run game and takes pride in pushing defenders against their will.

His stride length is limited in pass protection, but his foot speed makes up for it. He has a good, wide base to neutralize bull rushes quickly. His hands are consistently up and in the right position to strike with power at any moment.

He also possesses the hand quickness to hand fight yet protect his chest. He can be a bit overzealous when making contact in pass protection, which can lead to a vulnerability to swipes and chops. But that patience did improve in 2023.

Click here to see Taliese Fuaga's 2024 NFL Draft profile!

WINS ABOVE AVERAGE

WAA represents the number of wins a player is worth over an average college football player and is a metric evaluators can utilize to assess performance.

It combines how well a player performed in each facet of play (using PFF grades) and how valuable each facet is to winning football games. The result is a first-of-its-kind metric that allows for cross-positional valuation and predicts future value at the player and team levels.

Fuaga’s Wins Above Average (WAA) since 2021.

HOW FUAGA RANKS IN THE STABLE METRICS

The PFF pass-blocking grade does a fine job of describing an offensive lineman’s success as a pass-blocker, but it becomes even more stable when isolated to just “true pass sets.”

True pass sets are plays without play-action, screens and designed rollouts where there are at least four pass-rushers and the quarterback stands in the pocket for at least 2.1 seconds. Isolating more specific situations helps us project a lineman’s future pass-blocking performance.

Run blocking is generally a stable measure of play. However, negatively graded plays are more stable for offensive tackles, while positively graded plays tend to fluctuate. The opposite is true for guards and centers on the interior.

Fuaga’s percentile ranks in the most stable blocking stats since 2021.

Fuaga is a solid pass-blocker who made remarkable strides in 2023. He was beaten on only 10 true-pass-block reps last season.

He has the pass-blocking tools many teams covet and hope to develop, but his run-blocking ability is his trump card. Despite being among the lower percentile for negatively graded run plays, his 15.3% positively graded run play rate has been in the 89th percentile over the last two seasons.

BOTTOM LINE FROM PFF's 2024 NFL DRAFT GUIDE

Ultimately, Fuaga has the tape of a starting NFL offensive lineman, whether that is at tackle or guard. He brings the powerful mentality needed to stand out in the trenches.

He has the adequate length and foot speed, good offensive line IQ and elite strength to succeed at tackle and get a shot there as a first-round pick.

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