Fant, Hockenson impress at NFL Combine

Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson boosted their draft stocks with impressive performances at the NFL Combine on Saturday.

Iowa+tight+end+Noah+Fant+%2887%29+runs+the+ball+during+the+Iowa%2FMaryland+homecoming+football+game+at+Kinnick+Stadium+on+Saturday%2C+October+20%2C+2018.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Terrapins%2C+23-0.
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Fant, Hockenson impress at NFL Combine

Iowa tight end Noah Fant (87) runs the ball during the Iowa/Maryland homecoming football game at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, October 20, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Terrapins, 23-0.

Iowa tight end Noah Fant (87) runs the ball during the Iowa/Maryland homecoming football game at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, October 20, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Terrapins, 23-0.

Lily Smith

Iowa tight end Noah Fant (87) runs the ball during the Iowa/Maryland homecoming football game at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, October 20, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Terrapins, 23-0.

Lily Smith

Lily Smith

Iowa tight end Noah Fant (87) runs the ball during the Iowa/Maryland homecoming football game at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, October 20, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Terrapins, 23-0.

Pete Ruden, Sports Editor

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Former Iowa tight ends T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant have been projected as first-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft for months now, and they showed why at the NFL Combine on Saturday.

The former Hawkeyes led the tight-end position group for most of the day, finishing first and second in multiple on-field workouts.

Fant took the draft world by storm in the 40-yard dash, finishing with an official time of 4.50 seconds. That mark was the best in the tight-end group and was faster than all but eight running backs. If Fant were a wide receiver, he still would have ranked No. 10 in the group.

Hockenson, who drew comparisons to Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, performed steadily throughout the day as well, finishing the 40 in 4.70 seconds, tied for seventh among tight ends.

The duo was just as impressive in the vertical jump. Fant once again led the position group with a jump of 39.5 inches, and Hockenson finished right behind his former teammate with a mark of 37.5.

The same thing happened in the broad jump – Fant led the way with a jump of 10 feet, 7 inches, while Hockenson came in at No. 2 at 10 feet, 3 inches.

Fant also finished first in the 3-cone drill at 6.81 seconds, leaving Hockenson to come in second with a time of 7.02.

Fant and Hockenson finished 1-2 again in the 60-yard shuttle. Fant ran an 11.49 to lead the way, and Hockenson finished in 11.55 for second.

The only workouts where a Hawkeye didn’t finish first was bench press and the 20-yard shuttle. The tandem came close to leading the 20-yard shuttle, but Hockenson finished second in 4.18 and Fant was third in 4.22. In the bench press, Fant came in sixth with 20 reps, while Hockenson tied for 10th with 17.

Anthony Nelson will be the next former Hawkeye to participate in on-field workouts with the defensive linemen scheduled for March 3. Amani Hooker will round out the Iowa group with the defensive backs on March 4.

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