Broncos Tab Noah Fant with 20th Pick in NFL Draft

April 25, 2019

Written by Rob Howe

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The Denver Broncos selected Noah Fant with the 20th overall pick in Thursday night’s NFL draft. He joined teammate T.J. Hockenson in making history.

Detroit chose Hockenson with the No. 8 pick. It represented the first time that a pair of tight ends from the same school heard their names called in the first round of the same draft.

It’s the first time in Kirk Ferentz’s 20 years as Iowa’s head coach that two of his players were taken in the first round of the same draft. Fant and Hockenson brought the total of first-round picks under Ferentz to nine.

The Hawkeyes have now had 11 tight ends drafted since ’00.

Fant tested very well during draft prep. It included a 4.5-second, 40-yard dash.

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“He played in the shadow of Hockenson, to a certain extent, this year,” ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said during Thursday’s broadcast. “But he did have 18 touchdowns over the last two seasons and he’s a gifted athlete. He is a threat down the middle, a receiving option in the passing game in the deep-middle area.

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“I thought he could get the job as a blocker at times but he’s inconsistent in that area. Concentration at times caused dropped passes. I want to see if Noah Fant becomes a guy who loves the game or plays it because he can.”

Fant caught 30 passes for 494 yards (16.5 average) and 11 touchdowns as a true sophomore in ’17. He followed that up with 39 catches for 519 yards and seven scores last fall to earn third-team All-American honors from the Associated Press. His 19 career touchdowns set a school record.

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