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Denver Broncos select TE Noah Fant with 20th overall pick in 2019 NFL Draft after trade

Posted: 8:29 PM, Apr 25, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-26 18:15:44Z
noah fant

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Broncos liked being on the clock so much they doubled the wait time.

Denver moved back from pick 10 to pick 20 and landed Iowa tight end Noah Fant. The Broncos need a tight end to stabilize their passing game and provide a weapon for veteran quarterback Joe Flacco.

Last season, while sharing targets with T.J. Hockenson, who was drafted eighth overall by Detroit on Thursday, Fant caught 39 passes for 519 yards and seven touchdowns.

In 2017, Flacco's last full season as a starter, he completed 99 passes to tight ends, second in the NFL. His accuracy on those targets? An eye-opening 77 percent.

The Broncos' tight ends caught 68 passes last season. In 2014 in Gary Kubiak's offense, which will have some similarities to Broncos offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello's, Flacco was 76-for-117 when throwing to tight ends.

"Noah Fant is an incredibly gifted and athletic tight end. He's got great speed and he can really stretch the field. We're very fortunate to get him at 20," Broncos general manager John Elway tweeted after the pick.

Fant spoke to Denver media after his selection and said he was happy to head to the Mile High City and run a scheme friendly to tight ends.

"I am super stoked to go to Denver. Joe Flacco is a legend. I am looking forward to working with him," he said. "I wanted to go to a team that wanted me and where the scheme fits. I have full belief that I am one of the best tight ends."

He was with his parents and others when the pick was made.

"It was a great moment. I went and hugged my mom, then hugged my dad," he said. "It was like God wanted me to be in Denver, and I wanted to be in Denver. It was emotional."

Fant said he will bring speed and route-running abilities to the team in addition to his blocking prowess.

"I am able to use my athleticism (in my routes). Obviously, I was able to put on some good numbers at the [NFL] Combine," he said. "I would argue that I'm in the best situation for a tight end, being with the Denver Broncos."

This is a developing news story and will be updated.