The 2018 NFL Draft was devoid of can’t-miss tight end prospects. Thankfully for general managers, Noah Fant is the prospect who was missing from the field.
Tight end has become one of the most valuable positions in the modern NFL. The presence of a player who can be a genuine matchup nightmare will always be of value, but a great tight end has a way to confuse even the brightest of defensive minds.
While he may need to prove that he can sustain his 2017 success, Iowa Hawkeyes tight end Noah Fant looks the part of the next star tight end at the highest level.
Fant wasn’t necessarily expected to dominate, but that’s exactly what he did in 2017. After producing just nine receptions for 70 yards and one touchdown in 2016, he broke out with a season that put scouts on high alert.
Though still prone to some measure of inconsistency, Fant established himself as the best big-play tight end in the country.
Fant finished the 2017 season with 28 receptions for 486 yards and 10 touchdowns. He tied for No. 1 in the country amongst tight ends in touchdowns, and stood alone atop the leaderboard in yards per reception with a stunning average of 17.4.
Fant will need to become more consistent on a down-to-down basis, but he’s already proven himself as an explosive playmaker.
Some have questions about how that will translate to the next level, but the foundation is in place for a dominant 2018 campaign.
Fant is a 6’5″ and 232-pound target with a giant catch radius and blazing speed for a player his size. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.64 seconds at Nike Football’s The Opening in 2016, and continues to display that speed on film.
An easily identifiable target with the ability to create after the catch will always have a place in the NFL, and Fant is already proving to be such.
In 2018, Fant will be tasked with establishing that he’s capable of moving the chains on a consistent basis. Explosiveness will sell to general managers, especially at his size, but he needs to distinguish himself as a true go-to target.
If Fant makes the progress that he’s expected to, then he should earn a first-round grade for the 2019 NFL Draft.
In turn, Noah Fant could become the prospect whom general managers were hoping to see in the 2018 NFL Draft.