Iowa football should be well represented when the 2019 NFL Draft rolls around later this month. The team could have the top two tight ends off the board in the first round.
T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant were both incredibly productive in 2018 for the Hawkeyes. There’s been talk for both in the top 10, depending on team fit and how they do in workouts.
Hockenson is more of the classic tight end, with strengths as a pass catcher and blocker. Fant is considered a more prominent athlete, though he may not be as well-rounded.
Either way, both are set to have their lives change come draft time.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller has both Iowa tight ends as first rounders in his latest mock draft.
He doesn’t have either Hockenson, who he is very high on, or Fant going top 10, but says it is largely because of positional need for teams in that part of the draft.
He has Hockenson going No. 19 to the Tennessee Titans.
A near-perfect prospect, Hockenson is a three-down tight end who can block and open up the receiving game; looking like a 10-year veteran while coming out of Iowa as a redshirt sophomore. His all-around game is so developed that he has the tools to start his rookie season with All-Pro traits.
A few picks later, Miller likes Fant to the Oakland Raiders, who just lost Jared Cook to free agency after a breakout season, at No. 24.
At 6’4″ and 249 pounds, Fant blew away evaluators with his 4.50-second 40 speed at the combine. That, matched with two years of excellent tape at Iowa, prove Fant’s worth as a three-down tight end. He’s excellent up the seam and on breaking routes, which pairs well with the additions of Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams who can dominate outside the hashes.
In the third round, Miller likes safety Amani Hooker plugging in with the impressive Chicago Bears defense.
His full latest three-round mock is available at Bleacher Report.