The New York Jets selected UCONN defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi with the 180th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Here are a few initial thoughts:
The Jets continue to add players to their defensive line depth chart, selecting Fatukasi in the 6th round, a local prospect from Far Rockaway, NY. After drafting Nathan Shepherd in the 3rd round and trading for Henry Anderson the Jets felt the work wasn’t done. Fatukasi is massive at 6’4″ and 318 lbs. The Jets said yesterday that Nathan Shepherd would shed weight and play as a 3-4 defensive end (5 technique) so it’s interesting to see where they will play Fatukasi. It would appear he projects more as a movable piece as a defensive tackle in four down lineman fronts, or defensive end in their base 3-4 defense.
Fatukasi was quietly a solid and consistent starter at UCONN. He peaked with 7.5 sacks his sophomore year and totaled 14 sacks and 21 tackles for loss in his college career. He’s a powerful but raw talent on the interior defensive line. According to PFF, he had the 30th ranked run stop percentage amongst draft eligible interior defenders. Here’s what might have caught the Jets eye about him:
Fatukasi is really strong at the point of attack. At his best at UCONN, he dominated at the line of scrimmage.
Eats this block like tic tac and then makes the play
He’s also flashed some intriguing pass rushing ability
Folukasi is a raw product but he has the kind of ceiling that probably should’ve seen him drafted earlier. He’ll likely be a rotational player, competing for snaps in first year. But he does have the potential to be more.