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Noah Fant, Dalton Risner named to 2019 Pro Football Writers of America's All-Rookie team


A pair of Broncos rookies have been named to the 2019 Pro Football Writers of America's All-Rookie team.

First-round pick Noah Fant and second-round pick Dalton Risner both earned the nod following their 2019 seasons. The two players were the Broncos' top two selections in the 2019 NFL Draft, and both Fant and Risner appeared in all 16 games this season.

Fant, the 20th-overall pick from Iowa, led all rookie tight ends in both receptions and receiving yards. He finished the season with 40 receptions for 562 yards and three touchdowns as he started 11 games. His reception and receiving yard totals were the highest in franchise history by a rookie tight end. His 562 receiving yards represent the sixth-highest total by any rookie in franchise history.

Only two tight ends in NFL history have more 100-yard receiving games as rookies. Fant accomplished the feat on two occasions: a three-catch, 115-yard performance in Week 9 vs. the Browns and a four-catch, 113-yard day in Week 14 against the Texans. He holds the top two spots for all-time receiving yards in a game by a Broncos rookie tight end.

Fant stacks up well against not just other rookie tight ends. When compared to all NFL tight ends in 2019, including veterans, Fant recorded the second-highest yards per catch total among tight ends with at least two catches per game.

Risner, meanwhile, was one of three Broncos linemen to start all 16 games this season. The rookie from Kansas State took first-team reps at left guard as soon as he arrived in Denver, and he never relinquished his hold on the job. Risner was one of just 10 rookies in the league to start all 16 games, and he tallied the eighth most snaps of any rookie this season. Only four Broncos rookies since 1970 played more snaps than Risner did in 2019.

The Wiggins, Colorado native proved invaluable in both the run game and pass protection. His "highlight" of the season likely came in Week 3, when he pulled Phillip Lindsay into the end zone on a fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line against the Packers.

Risner ranked second among rookie guards who played at least 50 percent of their team's snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.

This marks the second consecutive season that the Broncos have had two players elected to the All-Rookie team. Phillip Lindsay and Bradley Chubb earned the honor following the 2018 season. No team has more PFWA All-Rookie selections over the last two seasons than the Broncos' four.

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