Can Broncos rookie Noah Fant come through with a breakout performance against the Chiefs?
We are still waiting on Denver Broncos’ rookie tight end Noah Fant to have his coming-out party this season. While his college teammate T.J. Hockenson was introduced to the league in his first career game, going for 131 yards, Fant has yet to have a game with 40 yards. Fant was a first-round selection for a reason as he possesses wide receiver skills in a tight end’s body.
With the Broncos set to host the Kansas City Chiefs, who are on a two-game skid and have a porous defense, Fant is in prime position to have his biggest performance yet. The Chiefs have struggled to defend the pass consistently, and while the Broncos are not the going to try to move away from the strategy the Colts and Texans have used to defeat the Chiefs, they will need to throw the ball.
Texans tight end Darren Fells was able to find himself in open pockets against the Chief’s secondary last week, totaling six receptions for 69 yards in addition to Jordan Akins going for 39 yards on three receptions.
Fant possesses more raw talent than either of those two, but Joe Flacco must give him more than the three targets a game he is averaging. Flacco does have some talent in that receiving core, but with Emmanuel Sanders banged up, it could give Fant some extra love this week to show Flacco and head coach Vic Fangio what he can do with the ball in his hands.
It looked like Fant was going to see more looks after he was targeted early in the second half against the Titans last week, but after a nice 11-yard pickup, Fant failed to see a Flacco ball, which bounced off his back and into the arms of a Tennessee defensive back. After that, he was not targeted for the rest of the game, even though the pick wasn’t entirely his fault.
In order for Fant to get to the level the Broncos need him to be at, they will have to give him a more consistent role in a passing game that has struggled, to say the least. It will be on Denver to develop Fant’s potential and give the 20th overall pick more looks.
Denver will be in a good spot to give Fant those looks as the rookie will find himself open on a number of plays, but it will be on Flacco to deliver him the ball.