T.J. Hockenson is one of the most talked about prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft class at tight end for a variety of reasons, most of which have to do with scouts working overtime to find some sort of weakness in his game that has not appeared just yet. There is legitimate buzz that he could come off the board as early as the top ten in this draft, and that praise may be entirely warranted.
Here is a look at what the former member of the Iowa Hawkeyes football team brings to the table:
Height/Weight: 6-5, 300 pounds
Position: Tight End
Projected: 1st round
- Incredible soft hands and as sure-handed as it gets at the position, one of his highlights from his college career is catching a wet ball without gloves at Penn State
- A smooth and natural route runner that can run just about any pattern that he is asked to
- As versatile a chess piece at tight end as there is, able to stay inside and block or be flexed to the outside
- Relentless as a blocker and is able to push edge defenders out of a run play
- Technically sound plus football smarts aide his athleticism
- Is able to both high-point the football and also make plays after the reception
- A load to bring down in the open field
- Not as fast as some of the other tight end prospects
- Almost too perfect (this is not a concern, just an observation that makes it tough to predict if there is any chance of a bust here)
The biggest question mark surrounding Hockenson’s game is whether or not there is some hidden red flag that nobody has stumbled upon quite yet because he does everything well and has the tape to prove it. Projections have him all over the first round as the debate rages on as to whether or not a tight end is worthy of being taken as high as he is projected in some mocks, which seem to top out around the Detroit Lions’ pick at No. 8 overall. The argument can be made that he is the best offensive weapon in the entire draft and his skill-set should be able to be applied to a variety of schemes. Even if there are still solid offensive line options on the board for the Vikings at No. 18, Hockenson being there would warrant heavy consideration and would give them an offensive weapon of the future to potentially supplant Kyle Rudolph.
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The offseason is in full swing as NFL teams work to build for the 2019 season and beyond. The NFL Combine is in the rearview mirror and the start of free agency and the new league year on March 13 is up next. The 2019 NFL Draft kicks off from Nashville, Tennessee on April 25, 2019 and runs through April 27, 2019. The first round will be held on Thursday night, followed by the second and third round on Friday night and will conclude with rounds four through seven on Saturday.