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New Orleans Saints draft notes following first round of 2024 NFL Draft

Saints selected Oregon State offensive tackle Taliese Fuaga with 14th pick

• With the 14th pick overall, New Orleans selected Oregon State tackle Taliese Fuaga (pronounced Tal-ee-s-ay Foo-aga).

• Fuaga was the 59th first round pick taken by the Saints (including quarterback Dave Wilson taken in the first round of the 1981 Supplemental Draft).

• This is the fifth time New Orleans has picked from the 14th overall slot in the NFL Draft. In 1990, the Saints selected West Virginia defensive end Renaldo Turnbull, who would play for New Orleans for seven seasons and recorded 44.5 sacks, tied for 11th in franchise history. Turnbull was a Pro Football Weekly/PFWA all-rookie selection in 1990, when he recorded nine sacks and was selected to the Pro Bowl and as an Associated Press All-Pro in 1993, when he was tied for fourth in the NFL with 13 takedowns. In 2009, they selected Ohio State cornerback Malcolm Jenkins with the 14th overall pick. Jenkins, who moved to safety in 2010, enjoyed a 13-year career with New Orleans (2009-13, 2020-21) and Philadelphia (2014-19) and in 199 games with 191 starts, recorded 1,284 tackles with 13.5 sacks, 21 interceptions, 130 passes defensed, 17 forced fumbles and 10 fumble recoveries. Jenkins was selected to three Pro Bowls and won Super Bowl championships with the Saints (2009) and Eagles (2017). In 2013, with the 14th pick, New Orleans selected Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro. In five seasons with the Saints, Vaccaro played in 68 games with 67 starts and recorded 482 tackles with eight sacks, eight interceptions, 29 passes defensed, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. In 2018, New Orleans selected UTSA defensive end Marcus Davenport with the 14th overall pick. In five seasons, Davenport played in 63 games with 32 starts and recorded 21.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

• Fuaga, 6 feet 6, 324 pounds, was the ninth tackle taken in the first round by the club. Only defensive ends (11) have been taken more frequently than tackles and running backs (nine each) in the first round. He is the 49th tackle selected by the club all-time.

• Fuaga is the eighth Oregon State player picked by New Orleans in the NFL Draft, the second former Beaver picked in the first round by the Black and Gold, joining receiver Brandin Cooks (20th overall in 2015). Oregon State is tied with Alabama and Tulane for producing the 14th most Saints draft selections.

• Fuaga is the first Oregon State offensive lineman taken in the first round of the NFL Draft.

• Fuaga joins defensive back Rejzohn Wright as the second Oregon State player currently on the Saints roster. He is the first Saint taken in the first round out of a Pac-12 Conference school since guard/tackle Andrus Peat in 2015 (13th overall) was selected out of Stanford.

• In four seasons at Oregon State, Fuaga played in 39 career games, opening his last 25 contests at right tackle.

• In 2023, Fuaga opened all 12 games he played in at right tackle for the Beavers, as part of an offensive line that helped the team average 4.9 yards per carry and 167.1 rushing yards per game. He was a first-team All-America selection by Phil Steele, Pro Football Focus, ESPN, CBS Sports and the FWAA and was a second-team selection by the Associated Press, AFCA, The Athletic, The Sporting News and USA Today. Fuaga was a consensus first-team All-Pac-12 selection for the 8-5 Beavers. He was selected to participate in the Senior Bowl.

• In 2022, Fuaga was a Pro Football Focus honorable mention All-American and first-team All-Pac-12 (second-team by Associated Press and conference coaches), when he started all 13 games at right tackle for the 10-3 Beavers, helping pave the way for the team to average 396.0 yards per game overall and 196.5 on the ground.

• As a sophomore in 2021, he saw action in 10 games for Oregon State and four contests as a freshman in the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic shortened season.

• Fuaga prepped at Mount Tahoma (Tacoma, Wash.) High School, where he played on the defensive line and the offensive line. As a senior, he was named first-team All-League on the offensive line and second-team on the defensive line, where he tallied 40 tackles, 10.5 stops for loss and five sacks.

• The NFL Draft resumes with the second and third rounds on Friday at 6 p.m. CT. New Orleans holds the 45th overall pick in the second round.

Behind-the-scenes photos from the Ochsner Sports Performance center inside the New Orleans Saints' draft room ahead of their first round selection in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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