The first of the tight ends that the Detroit Lions should look into is the standout tight end of this draft class, tight end Noah Fant, who plays for the University of Iowa. Fant is a do-it-all tight end that is highly skilled in both the passing game and running game. He is a big aerial threat and an excellent run blocker.
Through nine games this year, Fant has 34 receptions for 453 yards and six touchdowns. He even has two rushing attempts this year, one of which went for minus-one yard and one which went for three yards.
"“Noah Fant is of the most freakish athletes in all of college football… Has unbelievable blend of size and speed, graceful in the open field and will be a mismatch nightmare for safeties and linebackers across the league… Has big play ability as a receiver… First step quickness as a blocker wins angles to gain favorable positioning at the point of attack”"
There are certainly more pressing needs for the Lions right now that they should address in the first round, but there’s no denying adding Fant would help replace Tate’s and Ebron’s lost production. If Detroit chooses to go another direction in the first round (*cough* defense *cough*), then there are still other play-making tight ends to be had in the next two rounds.
If Detroit feels that tight end is a big enough need they could choose to go that way with their second-round pick.
A couple options in the second and third rounds to keep an eye on are tight ends Irv Smith from the University of Alabama and T.J. Hockenson from the University of Iowa (the Iowa tight end coach deserves a raise; first former Iowa Hawkeye tight end George Kittle has developed into a top-tier tight end in the NFL, and now two tight ends from the same school could go in back to back rounds!!).
Also, don’t sleep on University of Missouri tight end Albert Okwuegbunam.