Focus surrounding the Detroit Lions’ need for a tight end has been surrounding Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson as a potential candidate for their eighth overall pick. However, on Monday, the Lions hosted his teammate Noah Fant for a visit, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
#OleMiss WR DK Metcalf is on a 30 visit to #Bills, who pick 9th, today, source said. … #Iowa TE Noah Fant is in DET on a visit with the #Lions. … #Georgia CB Deandre Baker is with the #Steelers. … #Washington OT Kaleb McGary is with the #Patriots today, #Packers Tuesday.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 8, 2019
While Hockenson is widely viewed as the better overall prospect, Fant had a very productive career at Iowa, including a 11-touchdown season in 2017 and a total of 1013 receiving yards in his past two years.
And in terms of athleticism, Fant has it in spades. His RAS is not only higher than his Iowa counterpart, but it’s one of the best in this entire draft class:
That makes Fant an ideal pick for a team looking for a pass-catching threat. Add in solid hands, an ability to make defenders miss after the ball is in his hands and potential as a route runner, and Fant is arguably a more dangerous weapon in the passing game than his Iowa counterpart.
The downside is that his blocking both in the run and pass game need work, and that could be a deal-breaker for a Lions team that appears to be looking to change its identity into a more run-heavy, ball control offense.