A Hall of Fame tight end believes Detroit Lions TJ Hockenson can join the list of elite tight ends

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.

From TJ Hockenson to Kerryon Johnson, the Detroit Lions season hinges on consistency

Embed from Getty Images The hype has found the Detroit before training camp has started. However, Lions fans are the last to fall for such perceived foolishness. Yet, a quick look at Detroit’s new weapons and fans can at least say “what if?”

First things first games are not won or lost on draft day. Neither are games won or lost on paper or media and fans opinions. If they were every NFL team would have won at least one Super Bowl.

To understand more in depth, let’s take a look at the Detroit Lions top two offensive draft picks. Kerryon Johnson drafted in the second round last year, and this years first round draft pick tight end TJ Hockenson.

Both  are gifted players. Johnson showed last season he can more than handle the running back job. He proved he is a star in the making. Kerryon Johnson is many experts break-out-player this coming season.

TJ Hockenson,  he was brought in to improve the Detroit’s woeful TE position. Hockenson had 49 catches with only 1 dropped pass last season at Iowa. Let that sink in for a moment. he had 49 receptions for over 700 yards and only 1 dropped pass. That is incredible. That is why TJ was a first round draft pick.

Those two players have shown why Detroit is in good shape. Yet, games are not won or with two players. For the Detroit offense to reach the level many believe it can reach, a few things must take place.

The offensive line must be more consistent. In both pass and run blocking. Last seasons they looked good at time, and they looked pitiful other times. The simply will not fly. Quarterback Matthew Stafford , must bounce back from a sup-par season. He will be asked to do less. But when his number is called he must deliver or Detroit will not improve.

Consistency. It is a word coaches and players all say and repeat. No team can have sustained success without it. No mathher how good the players on the roster are or appear to be.