Lions beat writer Kyle Meinke showered TE T.J. Hockenson with praise for his training camp performance. Meinke notes that the rookie “hasn’t put a catchable football on the ground,” while he’s also dominated red zone drills. Targets will likely be an issue for the run-heavy Lions, but it’s encouraging to hear Hockenson's playing like a top-10 pick. He's draftable around TE20.
The Lions selected Iowa TE T.J. Hockensen with the 8th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. After playing 2nd fiddle to Noah Fant in 2017, Hockensen emerged as Iowa’s top dog this past season. He led the Hawkeyes with 760 receiving yards, finishing 2nd to WR Nick Easley with 49 catches and 2nd to Fant with 6 TDs. A seam-stretching threat, Hockensen averaged 15.5 yards per catch and ranked 4th in this TE class in yards per route run, according to Pro Football Focus. He made a ton of catches in traffic and dropped just 1 pass all season. Hockensen boosted his stock by registering an 85th percentile SPARQ score at the Combine. He’s also a plus blocker and projects as an every-down TE for Detroit. Hockensen should at least be a spot-start fantasy option as a rookie and brings difference-making long-term upside.