In this 2019 NFL Draft profile, we look at the strengths, weaknesses, and New York Jets draft day prediction of tight end Noah Fant out of Iowa.
Noah Fant was destined to be a professional football player. While he was in high school, Fant broke the record for the most receptions and he was chosen twice for All-Nebraska.
He decided to join the Hawkeyes at the University of Iowa where he started as a true freshman in 2016. Fant ended the season with one touchdown and only 70 yards in six games.
His sophomore year offered more production, as he played in 12 games with incredible involvement. Fant was just shy of completing 500 receiving yards averaging almost 17 yards per reception. That season, Fant also had 11 touchdowns and earned third-team All-Big Ten.
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Although he had seven touchdowns his junior year, his production increased. Fant had almost 520 yards on 39 receptions. He received third-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten honors.
Fant had declared for the 2019 NFL Draft early in his junior year and decided to not play in the Hawkeyes’ bowl game. His recent combine results earned him a grade of 5.86 per NFL.com, which means he has the talents to be an NFL starter.
Fant is extremely athletic and is quick off a snap whether he’s receiving or blocking. He has an immediate burst that allows him to easily separate himself from his opponent, or any defender at that.
He runs long routes swiftly and makes his way downfield. Fant is also a great route runner. He has a fantastic catch radius that lets him dive for low passes or jump extremely high at any moment. Fant is quick to make himself open and available for his quarterback.
He uses his hands well in block situations, and he has great balance upon initial impact. Fant has shown signs of being a threat in the endzone when he is used as a blocker.
Fant needs to become stronger if he’s going to be taken seriously as a blocker. He will need to bulk up his bottom half in order to hold up against any NFL defenses.
Once he is hit, he doesn’t follow through with the play. He gives up and needs to learn how to break through his defender, adjust his route, and continue downfield.
Fant is too aware of his surroundings and he loses focus easily when he knows someone is approaching. He doesn’t attempt to step up to defenders and he needs to be more aggressive in his catch radius.
He pivots slowly, and he can’t always make the adjustment needed to the route. Fant is not consistent in the zone and will need to be able to ward off the defender or find himself an empty hole.
NEW YORK JETS PREDICTION
With an NFL grade of 5.86, Fant will most likely be drafted in the first round or early in the second-round. Whether or not the New York Jets keep their No. 3 overall 2019 NFL Draft pick, or trade down, they will not be going with Fant. The Jets have Chris Herndon and the tight end position isn’t one they will be focusing on that early in the draft.
Recent mock drafts have Fant making his way to the New England Patriots, Jacksonville Jaguars, or Green Bay Packers. No matter what team lands the tight end, expect him to make a name for himself in 2019.