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Beavers Right Tackle Taliese Fuaga is a Mauler | Commanders NFL Draft


Written By Adam Aniba


This year's draft class features some blue chip talent at offensive tackle. Oregon State right tackle Taliese Fuaga will be a prospect that will get generate more buzz as the offseason progresses. The Beavers tackle is arguably the most ferocious run blocker in the entire draft class.


Fuaga made a name for himself as a drive block technician in the run game, which often led to defenders laid out on the ground. The Beavers right tackle is a prospect to keep an eye on during the draft evalaution process.


Taliese Fuaga

6'6" 334 lbs | RT | OREG ST

Draft Proj 1st-Early 2nd Rd

Background

Fuaga grew up in Tacoma, WA and played football for Mount Tahoma High School. He played two-way football, lining up at defensive tackle in addition to playing along the offensive line.


As a senior, Fuaga was named First-Team All-League as an offensive tackle and earned Second-Team All-League honors on the defensive line (40 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and 5 sacks as a senior). His play on the field led to an invite to the 2020 Polynesian Bowl in Honolulu.


Fuaga was rated as a 3-star recruit by ESPN, Rivals and 247 Sports. The Mount Tahoma lineman received the most recruiting attention from Oregon State and USC, ultimately commiting to play for the Beavers.


As a freshaman in '20 Fuaga was active in 3 games at right tackle (55 snaps), allowing no QB hurries, no hits and surrended zero sacks. He was active in 10 games the follwoing season.


In 2022 Fuaga started 12 games at right tackle (744 snaps). On the season he allowed 8 QB hurries, 2 QB hits, and no sacks.


Through 12 games this seaason (700 snaps) he gave up 11 QB hurries, 2 QB hits, and no sacks while playing at right tackle. Although he only played in 3 games during the 2020 season, Fuaga hasn't allowed a sack in 4 year collegiate career.



PROS

  • Thrived when asked to pull out in space, where he becomes a headhunter

  • Handles the bullrush well, showing the ability to mirror pass rushers

  • Displays excellent hand placement with a powerfull inital punch

  • Dedication to leverage and strength is evident

  • Displays a mean streak and is at his best in the run game as a mauler

CONS

  • Struggled at times when facing athetic speed rushers

  • Guility of lunging which has led to balance issues

  • Feet can get choppy and inconsistent

  • Will require technique refinement on the next level, particularly with his kickslide

  • Needs to work on getting lower in pass sets, too often allows pass rushers to get under his pads

Outlook

Fuaga is a prospect that will contiue to see his draft stock rise if he contiues to work on his game. The fact of the matter is this draft class is talented and particulary deep at offensive tackle. The Oregon State tackle is viewed in the top 3 at his position, depending on what site you go by.


The Beavers right tackle has just a shade over 3 years of starting colegiate experience and is still developing as a pass blocker. Scouts will want to see progress prior to the draft with his mechanics, particlarly his kickslide.


Pro Pro Football Focus was impressed with Fuaga in 2023, assigning him a 90.1 grade as a run blocker, 77.0 as a pass blocker and an overall grade of 88.4.


Fuaga is an absolute mauler in the run game and most dangerious when blocking on the second level. His issues as a pass blocker could give teams pause when selecting in the top 25 though.


Regardless, the Oregon state tackle has the ability to start from day one and could end up drafted higher than most draft projections.


*GAMES WATCHED*

9/9/23 vs Utah, 10/14 vs UCLA, 11/4 vs Colorado, 11/18 vs Washington & 11/24 vs Oregon




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