Former Hawkeye tight end Noah Fant was projected to be a first-round NFL Draft pick.
Chad Leistikow, Hawk Central

Not long after his former teammate went off the board, Noah Fant heard his name called as well. 

The Denver Broncos selected Fant No. 20 overall Thursday in Nashville. The former Iowa standout was selected 13 picks after fellow tight end T.J. Hockenson, marking the first time in NFL draft history that tight end teammates were selected in the same first round. 

Although Fant’s projection wasn’t as concrete as Hockenson’s, there was plenty to love about the 6-foot-5, 241-pound Omaha native. Fant’s size, speed and combine results squashed any concerns about usage and attitude that briefly arose in Iowa City. 

More: This chart shows every Iowa Hawkeye ever selected in the NFL Draft


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Fant has been ready for this for quite some time. He skipped the Hawkeyes’ bowl game and turned his full focus to the next level. He was rewarded Thursday night with a solid landing spot.  

“It’s amazing,” Fant told reporters in Nashville this week. “A lot of people here supporting me, and essentially, this is your future. The team that picks you is something very special. Definitely looking forward to getting ready.” 

Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.