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Noah Fant’s 40-Yard Dash Leaves a Good Impression

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Iowa tight end Noah Fant posted a 4.50-second 40-yard dash at the 2019 NFL Combine, impressing scouts and fans. His time ties with Mississippi wide receiver A.J. Brown, who also ran a 4.50. Fant is expected to go anywhere between the mid-first-round and early second-round in this year’s draft, similar to his Iowa teammate, tight end T.J. Hockenson.

During the draft process, Fant has been compared to Colts tight end Eric Ebron. This is because of his long strides and his jumping ability. Although Fant is more of a vertical threat tight end, he is a solid blocker as well. He can improve his blocking in the NFL by putting more effort into his blocks to create more open space for the ball-carrier. In three seasons with the Iowa Hawkeyes, he caught 78 passes for 1,083 yards and scored 19 touchdowns. This means he averaged 26 receptions, 361 yards, and about six touchdowns each season, a very solid stat line.

Fant’s time was better than many top wide receivers, running backs, and fellow tight end prospects who also ran the 40-yard dash, including Alabama running back Damien Harris (4.57 seconds), N.C. State wide receiver Kelvin Harmon (4.61 seconds), Arizona State wide receiver N’Keal Harry (4.54 seconds), and Alabama tight end Irv Smith (4.63 seconds). This shows how impressive his 40-time really was.

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Meanwhile, Fant’s time can also be compared to the times of current NFL players at their draft class’ combine. Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald posted the same time as Utah punter Mitch Wishnowsky and many other players this year at 4.63 seconds, which is still slower than Fant. Other players that posted slower times than Fant include:

  • Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (4.56 seconds)
  • Chiefs wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (4.61 seconds)
  • Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (4.51 seconds)
  • Packers tight end Jimmy Graham (4.56 seconds)
  • Titans running back Derrick Henry (4.54 seconds)
  • Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (4.57 seconds)
  • Saints running back Alvin Kamara (4.56 seconds)
  • Panthers tight end Greg Olsen (4.51 seconds)
  • Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (4.54 seconds)
  • Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (4.57 seconds)
  • Rams wide receiver Robert Woods (4.51 seconds)

Fant and Hockenson are surely the two main options at tight end in the first- and second-rounds. Expect to see them draw interest from potentially the Denver Broncos, who need to improve their tight end situation, and the New England Patriots, who will be looking for Rob Gronkowski’s eventual replacement.

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