Noah Fant had 78 receptions at Iowa. According to Pro Football Focus — and depending on which analyst you ask — Fant had 92 “catchable” targets in his collegiate career.
Also according to PFF, he had 13 or 14 drops (again, depending on who you ask). That means that according to their data, of the 13 or 14 passes thrown Fant’s way that were catchable, 100 percent were dropped passes.
Not big hits jarring the ball loose. Not great plays by the defensive back. Flat out drops.
I don’t agree with this take.
Look at this play here against Iowa State. This is a catchable ball, but is it a drop? This is where statistical data and analysis become too objective. It’s not black and white like a foul ball in baseball. For a foul ball to happen, the ball has to hit the bat. If the ball hits the bat and it doesn’t go in play, it’s a foul ball.
Pretty simple, right? A ‘catchable’ pass in football is far too objective to say, and if PFF considers this pass among Fant’s 14 ‘drops’ I have a problem with that. This is not a dropped pass.
There were another couple of ‘catchable’ passes I charted that were not dropped. How about this one? Is this pass technically ‘catchable’? I would say so. If Fant lays out, he might catch it. If there’s any chance a player ‘might’ catch something you can objectively say it’s ‘catchable’. Is that a drop? No.
These plays cause me some concern over what PFF is objectively considering a drop.
I saw Fant drop a quick out against North Texas, what would have been a 3 or 4 yard gain, where the ball hit his hands and fell to the ground with no defender causing it.
I saw another play where Fant went to make a catch between two defenders, he is in the process of making a catch, and then he’s absolutely lit up on a borderline targeting penalty before the ball falls to the ground.
Is that a drop? If so, it’s the kind of drop I’d be okay with.
I’m not ‘here’ for the takes on Noah Fant dropping passes and it being an issue moving forward. For many of you who have been to this site in the past or know me on Twitter, I’m a big Iowa Hawkeyes fan (I know, I know — pray for me). I never, and I can’t stress that enough, never thought Fant had an issue with dropped passes watching all of his games in real time.
It was nothing like the issues Demaryius Thomas has been having, where you see something every week.