Iowa football: Noah Fant has up and down performance in HOF game

Last night was the first game in former Iowa football player Noah Fant’s professional career, and as expected, he had an up and down performance.

As the Denver Broncos first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, there was quite a spotlight on former Iowa football player Noah Fant as he made his professional debut against the Atlanta Falcons in the Hall of Fame game. Expectations are always high for a player of his caliber so this was too be expected considering he’s getting love as a possible Offensive Rookie of the Year sleeper pick.

The results were up and down with Fant showing a few flashes of his receiving and blocking abilities while also struggling in both of those aspects at other moments in the game.

On Fant’s very first career target, he dropped the ball on a route underneath. Chalk that one up to nerves, but good on the Broncos to go right back to the rookie out of the Iowa football program because he hauled in his first (and only catch) of the night on a similar route going the opposite direction.

From a receiving standpoint, Fant finished with 1 catch for 7 yards.

Blocking wise, there were a lot of questions heading into this game. People who didn’t watch the Iowa football team last year assumed Fant was a terrible blocker, when in fact, he was a much-improved blocker who just wasn’t as good as his tight end counterpart TJ Hockenson. Moreover, he has all the natural ability in the world and working with renowned blocking guru Mike Munchak was only going to help him get better.

It showed up in this game as Fant did a nice job of sealing the edge and creating lanes for the stable of Bronco running backs throughout. Only once did Fant get caught looking like a rookie as he has a pretty obvious holding penalty that brought a nice run back.

With Denver having four more preseason games, we have a lot more games to see from Noah Fant, and my guess is we’re going to see Fant produce more consistently over the next few games, especially as the quarterback play becomes less erratic.