Denver Broncos: 2019 Rookie report card at the bye week
Noah Fant, TE
The Broncos’ first-round pick has been the unfortunate recipient of much of Broncos Country’s frustration over the first eight games of the 2019 season. Let’s look at his game piece-by-piece.
I think Fant has done a pretty good job of blocking overall, but there have been some unfortunate and unnecessary penalties.
Honestly, the penalties he’s racked up this season bother me more than his dropped passes have.
We know Fant came out of Iowa as a good blocker, but doing it at Iowa and doing it in the NFL are two very different things. I think the penalties drag this grade down but we’ve seen Fant be very solid in this area much of the time.
This is sort of a multi-faceted category.
We can’t avoid talking about Fant’s drops this season, which actually started on the first pass thrown to him in the Hall of Fame Game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Drops have been an issue for Fant this year, and they really put a black eye on what has otherwise been an ‘as-advertised’ first nine games for the rookie tight end.
We’ve seen him make plays after the catch. We’ve seen him use his athleticism and physicality. We’ve seen big plays.
Many of Fant’s catches this season have gone for at least 15 yards, and he’s averaging 13 yards per catch.
It’s easy to focus in on the dropped passes, but Fant has had a solid rookie season through nine games (300 yards on 23 catches) and he should continue to see a bunch of targets in the second half of 2019.
Fant gets a high grade for his big plays, but you have to knock the grade down because of drops and penalties. The good news? He’s trending up.