Embed from Getty Images T.J. Hockenson is not Eric Ebron in anyway. Let’s just start right there. The former Iowa Hawkeye stand out is miles better than Ebron whom Detroit Lions general manager released two seasons ago. With the Hockenson draft pick Detroit filled a glaring need.
T.J. Hockenson is a freak. Standing 6′ 5″ he is a scheme-versatile TE who can play in-line, flexed-out or even in the backfield. His athleticism allows T.J. to be used in many different way.
Hockenson is an impact blocker in both the passing game and run game. At Iowa he routinely hooked onto defenders and moved them out of the way. He also has a high awareness and is outstanding finding the soft spots in zone and works back to the quarterback with ease.
T.J. Hockenson, is more quick than fast. He possesses a good burst away from coverage. He excels in rout running. For a TE of his size Hockenson can run the seam rout as well.
What really stands out is T.J. Hockenson has great hands and body control. He made difficult catches look routine. Those standout qualities made it hard for Bob Quinn to pass up. Which is why he did not.
Hockenson needs to tone down being overly aggressive on blocking. He got flagged for holding a little too often for the Hawkeyes. That should come with coaching.
In an NFL draft where defense dominated the first round, T.J. Hockenson was the best TE in the draft and it was not even close. He is a game-changer at a difficult position to be one.
An unpopular pick by many Detroit Lions fans. Yet, it was the absolute right draft pick for the team moving forward. Jesse James was signed as a free agent. Now T.J. Hockenson comes in giving the Lions the ability to go two tight ends in a ball control offense.
Given team needs and the value of the NO. 8 overall first round pick, I give the Detroit Lions and A-. They drafted a player fans will enjoy for some time to come.