Noah Fant, TE
School: Iowa | Conference: Big-10
College Experience: Junior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 6-5 / 241
Projected Draft Status: Late 1st Round
NFL Comparison: Evan Engram
Fant is one of the most freakishly gifted athletes in the entire 2019 draft. He just finished with a school record for tight ends, 19 career touchdowns, which is impressive when you consider that Iowa has produced the likes of Dallas Clark, Tony Moeaki and George Kittle. He was named an All-American (Third Team) and First Team All-Big 10 in 2018 as a Junior. Fant accomplished that while having to share targets with stablemate TE and John Mackey Award winner T.J. Hockenson in the same huddle. In 2017, Fant lead the nation amongst TE’s with 16.5 yards per catch and tied for first with 11 touchdowns grabs.
After playing in the pro-style offense deployed by Coach Kirk Ferentz, Fant should be able to acclimate quickly to the NFL. At Iowa, Fant was part of a run-heavy system that liked to utilize their TE’s in play action early and often. Fant had to do more in-line blocking than is asked of most college TE’s because of the prevalence of modern spread offenses. While his blocking has left something to be desired at times, which is a rare statement for an Iowa product, he should be more than serviceable at the next level. Fant’s true value to an offense comes in being an absolute matchup nightmare for linebackers and defensive backs, while being the focal point in the redzone. He runs clean routes, has solid hands, and usually comes down with the tough contested catches.
Rumors coming out of Iowa City say Fant is going to jump at least 42 inches on the vertical in Indianapolis. Being that he is a height/weight specimen at the position with blazing speed, he should have scouts drooling over him at the Scouting Combine. His draft stock will only be on the rise once the NFL has some meaureables on this young man. Fant’s decision to leave school a year early shouldn’t be that big of a negative as this is shaping up to be an average draft class for TE’s.
- Exciting combination of size, speed and athleticism for a TE prospect
- Has the agility and experience to run complex route trees
- Often draws double coverage and special attention from the defense which frees up his teammates to make plays (T.J. Hockenson owes this guy a gift basket)
- Strong and reliable hands required of a security blanket TE
- Only an average blocker with a narrow base that may have a harder time holding up against NFL edge rushers
- Had a couple drops in college where his eyes noticeably came off the ball prior to securing the catch
- Had a few games in 2018 where he did a disappearing act
How He Fits On The Redskins
TE may not be the most pressing need on this team however this offense is in dire need of adding some play-making talent. Jordan Reed did a better job of staying on the field this year, but he has not looked like his old self. Vernon Davis isn’t getting any younger and he did not look as sharp as he did in his first year with the team. A replacement at TE1 needs to happen sooner rather than later. There is no question that Fant would be an upgrade for what is currently an underwhelming offensive attack, but will the draft capitol required to secure his services (probably a first rounder) be too much for a team with other needs?