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T.J. Hockenson 2019 Outlook


smeeze
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Evan Engram and Jeremy Shockey have had the best rookie seasons in the modern NFL.

 

Engram: 115 Targets 64 Rec 722 Yds 6 TDs

Shockey: 128 Targets 74 Rec 894 Yds 2 TDs

 

So if I'm looking at Gronkenson and try and maintain somewhat reasonable projections of 6 targets per game, and around 12 YPC while catching 80% of his targets I'd expect him somewhere around: 77/930/6. That would be good for a Top 5 finish last year.

 

Looking at Engram he finished as the number 5 TE his rookie year. 

 

Now Hockenson is going to have his bust shares during some weeks, but I fully expect as long as he continues to be integrated in the offense the way he was week 1, to finish as a top 5 TE this year. 

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https://www.mlive.com/lions/2019/09/tj-hockenson-was-booed-at-the-lions-draft-party-this-is-why-they-took-him-anyway.html

Here are some exerpts:

"It was the sort of thing we've seen all summer in Allen Park, where Hockenson was so good, so fast, that he quickly became one of Stafford's favorite targets when plays broke down and in the red zone. That ratcheted up expecations for the rookie tight end, despite the well-documented struggles of rookies at that position.

Tight end is difficult to learn because of the diverse skill-set required to play the position. They have to know how to block and catch. They have to know the passing plan for the week, and the running plan too. They have to line up in line, and split out, and sometimes in the backfield."

 

"Hockenson was known for his consistency at Iowa. He dropped just two passes for his career in Iowa City. Not bad for a guy also credited as the best blocker at the position in the country.

“I think he’s the safest player in the draft,” NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said in the spring. "Part of the benefit for him in terms of what I gave him and where I ranked him, I did him the day after watching Rob Gronkowski live in person in the playoff game against the Chargers, and I saw Gronk completely dominate a football game without really having to catch the ball. He was just so dominant in the run game.

“Then I flip on this kid, and he’s not as tall as Gronk, and I don’t compare anybody to Gronk -- he’s on a whole different level in terms of what he can do -- but I saw this kid with that same temperament and nastiness in the run game and controlling the run game, and then on top of that, he does nothing but get open and catch everything they throw to him. He’s going to be a very valuable player with a very high floor.”

And sure enough, one game into his career, Hockenson has already separated from Ebron in so many ways. That game was better than any Ebron ever had in Detroit. His blocking is good too. He's already earned the trust of Stafford -- his nine targets were second on the team in the opener -- whereas Ebron had a strained relationship with his quarterback."

 

Also, keep in mind his Coach at Iowa was Kirk Ferentz, who's a straight shooter and one of the those NFL guys really respect.  He was an OL coach for Bill Bellichek and also coached the Ravens.  One of his sons coached the TE's with the Patriots before becoming the Iowa offensive coordinator.  Iowa's program has put out tight ends like Dallas Clark, George Kittle, Noah Fant and Hockenson.  With Hockenson being rated the best overall TE to come out in recent years and having NFL level coaching while in college, he should be in a position to ball, even from year one. 

https://www.bostonsportsjournal.com/2019/03/29/relationship-between-belichick-ferentz-will-play-sizable-role-in-whether-patriots-pursue-hockenson/

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23 minutes ago, Nap Time said:

PFF gave Hockenson the highest pass blocking grade for all NFL TEs in Week 1.

A scout also mentioned him being the best run blocking TE he ever graded. There is a real likelihood Hockenson never comes off the field and with his athleticism he can put up some real good receiving numbers.

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1 hour ago, devaster said:

A scout also mentioned him being the best run blocking TE he ever graded. There is a real likelihood Hockenson never comes off the field and with his athleticism he can put up some real good receiving numbers.

https://lionswire.usatoday.com/2019/09/09/lions-week-1-snap-counts-sub-packages-dominate-defensive-scheme/

"Hockenson leads tight end group

T.J. Hockenson — 64 snaps, 73-percent
Jesse James — 51 snaps, 58-percent
Logan Thomas — 7 snaps, 8-percent"

 

Hock played 73% of the snaps week 1, which is more than plenty. 

For reference, here are the highest snap percentages last year for TEs.

 

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On 9/9/2019 at 2:28 PM, KennyWoo said:

 

I'm only cautioning against paying up for him.  He's worth an add if you had a streamer type at TE.  But I wouldn't assume he's going to be anything more than a back-end TE1 (probably just a bit above streaming level at best) and burn a high waiver position (or even worse trade a substantial asset) for him, that's all.

You were warned. 

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