Editor’s Note: The eighth and final part in a series previewing each Broncos status group entering training camp begins Tuesday.
In his second NFL season, Broncos tight end Noah Fant increased his reception total from 40 to 62.
But something was missing and it became the basis of his off-season focus.
“Consistency,” said Fant. “I think that’s the biggest thing. If I can get those catches[and]make those blocks and do that consistently throughout the season and do that throughout the year and at my highest level of play If I live, the sky is the limit.
In 2019, the Broncos’ first round (20th overall), Fant is a fashionable choice to break out in his third season even with the quarterback uncertain.
Fant didn’t have a 100-yard receiving game last year but came out strong, catching 18 passes in the last three games.
The key to Fant would be to get him into more big-game situations.
Even though his catch total increased to 22, he only had 111 more yards (562 to 673).
As a rookie, Fant had 14 explosive receptions (a gain of at least 16 yards), including 10 of at least 20 yards. Last year, he took 13 explosive catches, including eight from at least 20 yards.
who is behind
noah fanta (First Round 2019), Andrew Becky (exempt ’19), Albert Okwuegbunam (Fourth Round ’20) and Austin Fort (Adraft Free Agent ’19).
Okuwegbunam was slowed down by a knee injury in training camp and just as he was starting to gain traction (11 catches in four games), he tore his ACL last November in Atlanta and was forced to be confined when camp opened. have hope. When healthy, he is a dynamic receiver.
Discounted from New England after the ’19 season, Beck has carved a niche as a combo fullback/tight end/special team player. He was limited to 10 matches last year (hamstrings).
Fort was on his way to making the initial roster in August ’19 when he tore his ACL in Seattle and was laid off after arthroscopic knee surgery in mid-August last year.
Eric Sobert (free agent) and Sean Baer (draft free agent).
Saubert, 27, is an NFL travelman – the Broncos are his fourth team after several years with Atlanta, Chicago and Jacksonville. He has only 10 catches in 40 games (no touchdowns), so hopefully he will serve as the main in-line blocker.
Bayer took 18 catches in 35 matches for Iowa.
who is gone
Nick Venet (new Orleans), Jake Butt (Chicago) and Jordan Leggett (free agent).
There could be no greater beneficiary of the return of receiver Cortland Sutton than Fant. If the Broncos line up Sutton and Jerry Judy outside, they can get a top safety assist, leaving the seam open for Fant.
As a rookie, Fant averaged 14.1 yards per catch, but dropped to 10.9 last year. Opening it while running downfield will build up more yards after the catch.
number of notes
Most catches by Noah Fant last year from a Broncos tight end since Julius Thomas’ 65 in 2013.