Embed from Getty Images Just how important has the tight end position become in the NFL? Last year the best tight end in the game played in the Super Bowl, now the two best tight ends in the NFL are getting ready to play in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday night in Miami. What does that mean for the Detroit Lions and first round draft pick TJ Hockenson?
Tony Gonzalez, who was one of the best tight ends the NFL has ever seen and a member of the NFL Hall of Fame recently said, “He can be an All-Pro, no doubt about it,” speaking of TJ Hockenson.
That is quite the endorsement coming from one of the positions all-time greats. It gets better for both the Detroit Lions and TJ Hockenson. Tony Gonzalez would like to workout and mentor the young tight end.
Hockenson began his NFL career with a big training camp, then had a big game against the Arizona Cardinals in a 131 yard debut. That is more yards than any rookie tight end making his debut in NFL history.
That was the high point for Hockenson and the Lions. After that big start TJ came down to earth a bit, he averaged 21.5 yards per game the rest of the way, never had more than 56, and was average as a blocker. Then he suffered an ankle injury that sidelined him for the final month of the season. He finished with 367 yards on 32 catches for the year.
Tight end is the most difficult position to play. The player needs to be a receiver, a blocker as well as understand defensive coverages. Tony Gonzalez, said “Like I said, you just got to keep taking it to that next level and you got to keep challenging him. And hopefully I’ll get a chance to talk to him. I talked to all these tight ends, young tight ends in the league, so if you do see him, tell him to reach out to me because to me that’s what separates the good ones from the great ones.”
TJ Hockenson said he would love the opportunity to get to gather with the former NFL legend, which can do nothing but help.