Ben Raven’s 2024 NFL mock draft 1.0: Lions bolster stout OL with mean mauler

29. Detroit Lions – Washington OL Troy Fautanu

Troy Fautanu can play anywhere on the offensive line out of the gates. And that’s why he’s my first mock pick for the Lions despite the glaring needs at cornerback and for another edge rusher. Not only that, but Fautanu has become one of my favorite Day 1 options for the Lions since diving deeper into draft coverage.

And while about every draft analyst on the books believes that Fautanu could be a tackle out of the gates on Day 1, the consensus is that he’s better fitted with his style for the interior. ESPN’s Mel Kiper even said, “he’s going to be a Pro Bowl guard.” And The Athletic’s Dane Brugler added that “his fit inside at guard might be even better, though.”

T.J. Tampa and Kamari Lassiter are the top corners, and Chris Braswell is the top edge rusher left on the board. There is better value at those positions later in the draft. And with two starting guards without contracts, not to mention a starting left tackle entering a contract year, Fautanu fills more than one need in Detroit. He’s a starting-level talent for one of the guard positions. And he could be a potential starting tackle with Taylor Decker’s contract running up and Penei Sewell being able to play at an elite level from either the right or left tackle spot.

Fautanu looks built to play on Detroit’s offensive line as an aggressive mauler in the trenches. He has starting experience on the inside and outside. His technique needs refinement, no doubt. But he’s an athletic powerhouse and a fast-rising talent in the trenches. And who better than Lions offensive line coach Hank Fraley and Co. to help Fautanu hit his ceiling as a foundational piece? Fraley has proven to be an elite coach for developing and getting the most out of the trenches, no matter the configuration or injury challenges. And Fautanu and his 6-foot-4, 317-pound frame give him another versatile powerhouse to mold.

Pro Football Focus had Fautanu allowing only three sacks across three seasons at left tackle in Washington’s pass-heavy attack. He has the size, frame and style to hit the ground running as a road-grading guard, with proven chops in pass protection across multiple systems. Fautanu would bring a youthful level of violence to the team’s loaded offensive line, putting them in a better position to make the tough choice of letting Jonah Jackson walk. Fautanu pairs well with Graham Glasgow. And about 2025? The 23-year-old looks like a potential long-term option at right tackle, with Sewell able to move left whenever needed, adding to his long-term value while filling an immediate need for a team looking to keep their offensive line fully stocked.


I’m not complaining if this happens. I know the need for CB and DL is where the majority of the focus needs to be this offseason, but it all starts with the big uglies in front of Goff.


While i love the position versatility, the description didn’t mention anything about moving in space, which is what we need. Even though he’s described as a perfect fit, is he really? @Thats2 @CuriousHusker I’m in the minority wanting to go OL with our first rounder, but I think the C/G route has better value (better players I mean) at 29.

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Don’t let @BigNatty hear you saying that shit…

I think he’d be an awesome Guard. I’m far from a zoo expert but Brandon Thorn thinks he’d make an awesome Guard and that’s good enough for me. He’s clearly got the movement to be used like we’ve used Jonah. @LionMane broughf up some anchoring concerns and you do on occasion but he’s got that nasty Darnell Wright hand swipe down, get them leaning forward and drive them into the ground move. Not sure that approach will work as well on the inside as I think interior rushers are less likely to get over their skis like that.

But in general no concern about him moving to Guard. The bigger concern is his arms are supposedly 34"+ and if so some team is taking him higher than 29 and just keeping him at LT.


Was actually watching him this morning, moves great in space.

Would be a huge fan of this if he was the selection the Lion’s decided to make


Me if we drafted Fautanu:

room bath GIF

Thx guys, this OL crop of Fautanu, Fashanu, and Fuaga is killing me. F— that! I guess Fautanu and Fuaga project as T/G, while Fashanu is strictly LT.

Maybe the T/G combos are a good option, besides the two C/G combos - Barton and JPJ. All depends on how much longer we have Rags vs. TDeck I guess.

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I’m 100% in on this guy. It’s going to be a desperate need eventually.

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I doubt Fautanu will be there at 29 but if he is I would love to have him be our starting LG next year.

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I would be pretty stoked with Fautanu. He steps in right away as a perfect LG for us, he’s much more athletic than the C/G combos, and we like to put our guards on the move.

I had some concerns about whether he’d be able to stick at tackle or not based on his size, but if the rumors of 34+ inch arms are true, I think he can definitely do it. So not only is he our LG, but he’s our swing tackle as well, which is a MAJOR need. If one of Decker or Penei goes down, our season might be over.

Then at the end of his rookie contract if we move on from Decker we can just push Fautanu outside (if he’s proven himself by then).

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I love that shit. When I was coaching football, and we did our Offensive and defensive splits, I would always work with the lineman. I would tell them, “ Yes guys… This is exactly what you think it is… I always work with the best looking looking people. We are here to make those ugly little people look better, to protect them, and to take care of them”

They loved how much I stuck up for them… Every time someone scored a touchdown I made them go, celebrate with the lineman and thank them for creating the opportunity.

Yeah this dudes definitely on the early list for our pick.

Him & his teammate Trice

I’d bet those players had the best self esteem in the league

Derek Jeter Baseball GIF

They sure did.
I was constantly complementing them on how hard they worked… How well they stuck up for their brothers… How they would carry this into other areas of their lives, and how they could be just a successful elsewhere as a result of doing what they were doing on the field

I would complement them so hard and aggressively, That I’m guessing there were people in the stands that thought I was screaming in their Faces, when I was really just telling them nice ■■■■■■■ job that’s exactly how we practice it

Fautanu is a legit athlete, like Sewell. Plus he has Sewell’s warrior energy. Yeah - Fautanu is my 2024 draft mancrush.


Assuming that this is a BH guy (and I see no reason he wouldn’t be), I wouldn’t even be shocked or upset if Brad felt a trade up to get him was a necessity.


I would bet it will be necessary. Seattle has a dire need at iOL and they just hired Fautanu’s former OC as their OC. Seems like a glove fit imo.

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Yes, it would appear they’d have to jump to #16, not sure that’s one Seattle wants to give up. If not, so it goes. Brad isn’t going to get crazy with the draft value chart.