The people at The Athletic put out their latest mock draft as we are days away from the official NFL draft. With the 21st pick, they have Miami selecting…


Round 1, Pick #21: Taliese Fuaga, OT – Oregon St

“The Dolphins have a big need on the offensive line and honestly, I didn’t give a thought to any other position since Fuaga was still on the board. Not even for Xavier Worthy. Fuaga can be a right tackle or guard so his versatility will be key for piecing together the protection in front of Tua Tagovailoa.” Draft Profile


Beefy right tackle capable of playing at a high level despite his lack of ideal pad level and lower-body bend. Fuaga plays with a fairly aggressive disposition. He’s a one-pop blocker who struggles to clinch into his run blocks and is therefore forced to work overtime to sustain and finish. The pass protection technique is outstanding, and he possesses the athleticism to mirror and match edge-to-edge rush movements. Fuaga’s hand work is exceptional in pass pro and will need to remain so, because of his lack of desired range for recovering when beaten. A team could slide him to guard to improve its interior protection, but he’s best-suited at right tackle, where he should become a good starter.


  • Glides into pass sets with controlled slides, ready hands and quiet upper body.
  • Throws stiff right-left combinations, creating disruption for rusher.
  • Hands are highly active through the rush, helping to keep opponent centered.
  • Mirrors with fluidity, with little to no stall when changing direction.
  • Flashes ability to dig in with leveraged hand strikes at point of attack.
  • Gathers and adjusts his track to make his blocks in space.
  • Smooth and accurate when working from block to block.


  • Pops up tall off the snap and gets behind in back-side cutoffs.
  • On first contact, tends to hit and bounce rather than hit and stick.
  • His run blocking is much less organized and technical than his pass blocking.
  • Doesn’t have the range in pass sets to succeed when tardy out of his stance.
  • Occasional issues allowing weight to slide too far out on outside foot.
  • Washington had some success beating his outside hand and trimming the edge.

NFL Draft Buzz Draft Profile


Taliese Fuaga, an imposing Offensive Tackle from Oregon State, stands at 6’6″ and weighs 334 pounds. As a Redshirt Junior, he has made significant strides since his initial rating as a 3-star recruit from Mount Tahoma High School. His journey at Oregon State began with limited playtime, featuring in just 3 games as a freshman. However, he showed promise by allowing no QB hurries, hits, or sacks.

His sophomore year marked a substantial increase in participation with 12 games and 744 snaps, conceding 8 QB hurries and 2 QB hits but maintaining a record of zero sacks.

In 2023, Fuaga’s performance peaked; he played 12 games with a total of 700 snaps, giving up 12 QB hurries and 2 QB hits, still impressively allowing no sacks. His growth was recognized with a First Team All-Pac 12 in 2023, an Outland Trophy semifinalist nomination, and a Second Team All-Pac-12 in 2022, signaling his emergence as a dominant force in the collegiate ranks.

  • Run game dominance: His ability to control the line of scrimmage in the run game is exceptional, leveraging his size and strength to overpower defenders.
  • Strong, NFL-ready frame: Fuaga’s physical stature is ideal for professional play, providing a robust and durable foundation for his blocking abilities.
  • Heavy hands: His impactful handwork stuns defenders, effectively disrupting their momentum and control during engagements.
  • Potential for positional versatility: Demonstrates the capability to adapt to various roles on the offensive line, adding valuable flexibility to any NFL team.
  • Elite explosiveness and range: He exhibits rare agility and quickness for his size, particularly noticeable in his movement to the second level.
  • Aggressive playstyle: Known for his proactive and dominant approach, consistently seeking to overpower opponents at the line of scrimmage.
  • Effective leverage and pad level: Maintains superior leverage due to excellent knee bend, a critical skill for offensive linemen.
  • Skilled in recovery and redirection: Shows remarkable hip flexibility and ability to adjust quickly, essential for countering dynamic defensive strategies.
  • Arm length just shy of elite: His arm length, while substantial, isn’t quite at the top tier, potentially affecting his reach and effectiveness against elite edge rushers.
  • Limited hip flexibility: Fuaga sometimes shows challenges in quick hip transitions, impacting his ability to seal off agile edge rushers effectively.
  • Upright stance in pass plays: On passing downs, his tendency to stand too upright can make him vulnerable to powerful bull rushes from defenders.
  • Inconsistent footwork: He occasionally struggles to bring his feet along in situations requiring quick redirection, which can leave gaps for defenders to exploit.
  • Over-aggressiveness: His aggressive playstyle, while generally an asset, can lead to overextension and mistimed blocks, particularly in space.

Taliese Fuaga’s journey from a solid three-star recruit to a premier offensive tackle in the Pac-12 has been impressive. At 6’6″ and 334 pounds, he embodies the prototypical size and build for an NFL tackle, infused with a skill set that has evolved at Oregon State.

On the field, Fuaga’s skills in the run game are a standout feature. He employs his strength and mass to bulldoze defenders, setting a physical tone upfront. His heavy-handed approach in the trenches underlines his ability to disrupt and control the line, a key asset for any run-heavy NFL offense. In pass protection, Fuaga exhibits foundational skills – balance, hand technique, and lateral movement – essential for a tackle at the professional level.

Year-on-year advancements in his play signal not just a player with the necessary physical tools, but one with the dedication and football IQ to harness his potential. His zero-sacks allowed record in recent seasons speaks to his reliability as a protector on the line. Fuaga’s has potentially high-ceiling talent in the NFL. Teams seeking a blend of size, skill, and developmental upside will find Fuaga an attractive prospect, potentially slotting in as a cornerstone of their offensive line for years to come.

Tom and Mike’s 2024 DolphinsTalk Dueling Mock Draft

Tom and Mike’s 2024 DolphinsTalk Dueling Mock Draft