George Fant-a-Claus is Coming to Seattle

Many teams rely on undrafted free agents to bolster the roster and add depth, or in certain instances step in as a starter. Ethan Young looks deeper at Seattle Seahawks UDFA offensive lineman, George Fant and the traits that he’s flashed this preseason.

If you have followed my work for a while, you know I am a huge George Fant advocate. In case you don’t know, Fant was originally a college basketball player at Western Kentucky, and only played 33 snaps of football for the Hilltoppers before signing with Seattle as an undrafted free agent following the 2016 NFL Draft. Fant tested through the roof in Slaytics, placing in the 99.7th SPARQ percentile among offensive linemen since 1999. I initially predicted the Seahawks would draft Fant in the 7th Round, as not only have they consistently targeted athletic outliers like J.R. Sweezy, Kristjan Sokoli, and Mark Glowinski on the offensive line (think a Garry Gilliam career path for Fant though), but also because offensive line depth was a key pre-draft need. But the Seahawks waited until after the draft to grab Fant. Since then, I’ve been watching him closely and broke down his tape to see how he was developing in his first NFL snaps.

Fant is a raw prospect, so unsurprisingly there have been some bumps in his play early on, many of which can be seen in Week 1 of preseason against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Chris Jones began his torrid preseason by taking advantage of Fant’s inexperience and hesitancy.

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On this play, Fant’s base is too wide, meaning his feet are too far apart, rendering him unable to react quickly to a defender. This allows Dezman Moses to run around him before he can recover.

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Fant is upright in his stance on this play, and leans his upper body forward rather than mirroring the defender with his feet. After getting beat, he dives in an attempt to recover, showing bad form throughout the rep.




However, Fant looked better in Week 2 of the preseason against the Vikings, and his natural tools began to show.

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In the clip above, Fant shows off his quick feet, mirroring Justin Trattou as the defensive end tries to beat him on the outside. Fant is so quick that he won’t be beat on the outside often if he gets his technique in order and just trusts his feet to do the work.

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Quick feet aren’t Fant’s only tool, and he gives us a taste of his pure strength in the above clip.

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Trattou wants to go outside again, but Fant recognizes this and uses his upper body strength to push the DE back and outside when he tries to break into the pocket.

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It wasn’t all roses against Minnesota though. Fant stands straight up in his stance on this play, and Trattou gets into his upper body and just lays him out. You have to stay low and squat or you open yourself up to plays like this.

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Here, Fant is slow to get out of his stance and gets beat. He follows up this physical mistake with a mental one, grabbing the back of Tom Johnson’s jersey, and blocking him in the back all the way to the ground. While he didn’t draw a flag, he won’t always get so lucky.  

In the final two games of the preseason, Fant started to look consistent and confident. And when both of those things started happening, we began to see his natural tools take over. Watch him drive Denico Autry off the ball here.

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One thing that has really impressed me about Fant is his awareness of where the quarterback is on the field. With the likes of Russell Wilson and Trevone Boykin throwing passes, it’s a trait that comes in handy frequently. Often times offensive lineman put themselves in bad positions by losing track of the QB, and are forced into penalties or sacks. Here, Fant shows impressive anticipation and feel of where his QB is and where he will scramble to, allowing him to get in great position.

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It may not look like much on first viewing, but watch Fant closely. He sets an anchor, and when the defender tries to work inside, Fant doesn’t over correct and try to stop him. By staying where he is, Fant has all the leverage when the defender tries to react to Boykin’s scramble. Boykin and Fant show an impressive feel of how to operate when plays break down, especially for a pair of rookie undrafted free agents.

While Fant is raw and still needs to get more consistent with his technique, he flashes impressive upside when he puts it all together; he has all the tools he needs to develop into the left tackle of the future for the Seahawks. I see a ton of similarities between Fant and Eagles left tackle Jason Peters, as both are uber athletic (Peters tested in the 98.4th SPARQ percentile among offensive lineman) ex-basketball players with limited football experience. But to reach that lofty ceiling, Fant has a lot of work to do.




Having top-level measurables is very predictive at tackle, so the Seahawks should give Fant every opportunity to develop. Here is the full list of offensive tackles that place in the top Slaytics tier, sorted by Draft Capital Adjusted Return. For more info on that, read my conference based drafting article. If you can get a member of this list as an undrafted free agent like the Seahawks did, you could be seeing a major payoff.

Year Name Position
2004 Jason Peters OT
2007 Joe Staley OT
2011 Tyron Smith OT
2008 Duane Brown OT
2010 Trent Williams OT
2009 Sebastian Vollmer OT
2006 Eric Winston OT
2010 Jared Veldheer OT
2003 Jon Stinchcomb OT
2013 Terron Armstead OT
2009 Lydon Murtha OT
2011 Nate Solder OT
2014 Garrett Scott OT
2012 Donald Stephenson OT
2005 Alex Barron OT
2006 Winston Justice OT
2015 Jake Fisher OT
2014 Taylor Lewan OT
2013 Lane Johnson OT

Ultimately, Fant’s tools and progression really impressed me this preseason. He had close to as many snaps each game as he had in his college career, and it’s clear he was eating them up. That type of champing at the bit mentality is exactly what he needs to have to continue to progress. I’m excited to see it unfold.

Follow Ethan on Twitter @NFLDrafter. Also check out his work on a new, more accurate and more versatile player evaluation chart and a better way to predict QB sacks.

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All film courtesy of NFL GamePass.

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