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Off to a slow start, Noah Fant shows improvement on Day 4

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The Broncos’ first-round pick has shown some rookie mistakes but after some harsh words from his peers, had a better day on Sunday.

Pro Football Talk / NBC Sports

Broncos’ first-round draft pick Noah Fant has played like a rookie during his first week of training camp - with a slow start and rookie mistakes but making improvements with each day.

Miscommunication and confusion are common errors made during the adjustment process and Fant has clearly struggled some to find his rhythm as a professional tight end.

In fact, I overheard multiple players on Saturday calling out Fant for not finishing his routes.

Head coach Vic Fangio said yesterday that he liked veteran players staying on top of young players - such as on the first-round draft pick.

“I do. I didn’t particularly see it, but I like it. Peer pressure is better than coaching pressure, and the game is played—like I tell the players, if you notice here, most of the drills the coaches are off to the side. I don’t want them screaming and hollering instructions to the players. In the game they’re out there on their own. We can’t help them in the game, so don’t be helping them in practice. Your leaders have to come from those 11 guys that are on the field for you at any given time. They’ve got to work through it. I like that.”

Fant responded to the criticism today by having his best practice in camp, reeling in a touchdown pass in the end zone from Kevin Hogan.

Fant’s route-running was dramatically more purposeful, and he was also praised for his run blocking.

“I think he is an excellent run blocker ... that’s something we felt really strongly about with him coming out,” offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello said Sunday.

While he’s able to run block, Fant was drafted early to be a dynamic playmaker in Scangarello’s offense. His talents allow him to separate from defenders and run with powerful strides down the field, making him a nightmare in the end zone.

Observing the first four days of camp, Fant shows major potential but so far has also showed wild inconsistency.

There are times where the rookie shines, showing flashes of his athleticism and competitiveness. Other times, he seems to cut corners on the small details that Fangio preaches.

If the Iowa tight end intends on maximizing his potential with the Broncos, he is going to have to rely on work ethic instead of just talent.

Poll

When will Noah Fant have his "breakout moment?"

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  • 2%
    Training Camp
    (34 votes)
  • 34%
    Pre-Season Game
    (407 votes)
  • 62%
    Regular Season Game
    (750 votes)
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