The Iowa Hawkeyes were one of the stories of the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. As was largely projected, the school produced the first-ever tight end teammates to both go in the first round of the same draft.
T.J. Hockenson was viewed as the best all-around prospect at the position in some time. Rob Gronkowski comparisons for any tight end are very aggressive, but his abilities as a pass catcher and blocker drew a few.
Noah Fant is more of the modern, wide receiver-masquerading-as-tight end player. He went later in the first round, and should be a dangerous weapon at the next level.
It shouldn’t be too hard for Kirk Ferentz and his staff to recruit that position for a few years down the road.
T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant were two of four total Iowa Hawkeyes taken in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The full list of Iowa players, and where they were selected:
8. TE T.J. Hockenson – Detroit Lions
Watch LIVE as Lions TE T.J. Hockenson meets the media in Detroit.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) April 26, 2019
20. TE Noah Fant – Denver Broncos
Welcome to the family, @nrfant.
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) April 27, 2019
107. DE Anthony Nelson – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
— Anthony Nelson (@ANelly98) April 27, 2019
116. S Amani Hooker – Tennessee Titans
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) April 27, 2019
The Lions didn’t exactly nail their last high tight end pick. Eric Ebron is no longer on the team, and just had his most productive season with the Indianapolis Colts. Hockenson is viewed as a more well-rounded player though, and it is obvious that former Patriots assistant Matt Patricia is trying to recreate some of what makes that offense so dangerous. Fant joins a team with a quarterback who likes using his tight ends in Joe Flacco, and could come up with young signal caller Drew Lock, who is a possible heir apparent at the position.