Raiders Rumors: Iowa TE Noah Fant Visiting Oakland Ahead of 2019 NFL Draft

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 15, 2019

Iowa tight end Noah Fant runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

The Oakland Raiders, who hold the Nos. 4, 24 and 27 picks in the first round of the NFL draft, are reportedly hosting Iowa tight end Noah Fant on Monday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

In the past week, Fant has also visited with the New York Jets, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos and Detroit Lions, per multiple reports.

Analysts expected Fant would receive a lot of interest:

It's unlikely the Raiders will use the No. 4 overall pick on Fant, but he may not be available at No. 24. B/R's Matt Miller has Fant at No. 16 on his big board, while NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah places him at No. 15.

Both have him below his college teammate, tight end T.J. Hockenson, so it's likely Fant will be the second tight end off the board. But when he's chosen remains a mystery.

For one, teams don't often select tight ends high in the first round. For another, any team willing to do so will target Hockenson first. As well, tight end is a fairly deep position this year. Irv Smith Jr. is likely to be off the board in the second round, and players like Jace Sternberger, Dawson Knox, Kaden Smith, Josh Oliver, Kahale Warring and Caleb Wilson, among others, are possibilities in the middle rounds.

That could prompt teams to wait on the position, confident they can find value down the board. But that will come at the risk of passing on top-end talent.

Adding a player like Fant would make a ton of sense for Oakland, giving David Carr another weapon to pair with receivers Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams. Those offseason moves would turn last season's impotent passing attack into a formidable one.

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