Steelers Sign Round 1 T Troy Fautanu

Using a first-round pick on a tackle for the second straight year, the Steelers have revamped their situation at this position. The more recent of the two investments, No. 20 overall pick Troy Fautanu, is now signed.

The Steelers agreed to terms with Fautanu on Monday, locking him down through the 2027 season. This contract, as all first-rounders’ do, includes a fifth-year option that will need to be exercised or declined by May 2027. Fautanu joins Broderick Jones as Pittsburgh’s hopeful long-term tackle answers.

Rumors about Pittsburgh using Fautanu at right tackle, and sliding Jones to the left side have emerged, but the team could also opt to bring the Washington product along slowly — as it did Jones in 2023. The team still rosters three-year LT starter Dan Moore, though he has struggled at points over the course of his rookie deal. One season remains on Moore’s rookie contract, pointing to a near-future reality in which the Steelers roll out a Jones-Fautanu tandem.

The Steelers viewed Fautanu as a superior prospect to Jones and looked into trade-up avenues, but the recent left tackle starter for the national championship game-bound Huskies dropped to No. 20 in a tackle-rich draft. Playing left tackle opposite eventual second-round Ravens draftee Roger Rosengarten, Fautanu became a high-end tackle prospect during his Washington stay. The 6-foot-4, 317-pound blocker earned first-team All-Pac-12 acclaim while blocking for Michael Penix Jr.

It will be interesting to see how Pittsburgh arranges its blockers come Week 1. The team kept Jones on the bench behind Moore and then-RT Chukwuma Okorafor to start last season, but the Georgia prospect took over on the right side midway through. The Steelers cut Okorafor earlier this offseason; he is now competing for the Patriots’ LT post. One of the team’s first-round tackle investments will be a right tackle in the not-too-distant future, however, as Moore’s time in Pittsburgh appears to be winding down.

Should Fautanu supplant Moore as a starter, this season will mark a shift for a Steelers team that has used midlevel investments at tackle for many years. Jones represented the first Round 1 tackle to see extended time with the Steelers since Wayne Gandy in 2002. The team has used an array of blockers chosen outside the first round, most recently slotting the likes of Moore (fourth round), Okorafor (third round) and UDFA Alejandro Villanueva into its lineup. The Steelers will aim for a higher ceiling with Jones and Fautanu.

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