There were tonnes of surprises in last night’s 2019 NFL Draft, that much is true. But for the NFC North as a whole it was a fairly solid night. The first franchise to select a player out of the aforementioned division were the Detroit Lions, who realistically could’ve went anywhere with their pick due to a need at a variety of positions. Despite that fact, they selected T.J. Hockenson eighth overall. So, what sort of return will they get on him?
Sure, the Lions sadly boast several holes on their roster at the moment, but Hockenson is a great pick.
His addition provides a truly exceptional receiving talent to their arsenal, given that he boasts the catch accuracy, speed and drive to excel at the next level. In addition to those assets, Hockenson boasts a solid stature at 6-5, 250lbs and will be a monstrous contributor on offence next season. The former John Mackey Award winner had the stats to back that up, as he registered 760 yards and 6 touchdowns on just 49 receptions last season, averaging 15.5 yards per catch.
Furthermore, he is a dynamic prospect, given that he is undoubtedly the most complete tight end in the Draft. The previously alluded dimensions that he boasts elevate him to being a phenomenal blocker in pass protection.
Arguably the most impressive thing about Hockenson is the comparisons that he is drawing. Many guru’s have deemed him the second coming of Rob Gronkowski, given that he is phenomenal at both receiving and blocking. Which comes as a rather large surprise, given that he struggled to block in his freshman year. Of course, his added weight of 30lbs helped him tenfold and now he finds himself deservedly drafted inside the top 10.
Aside from Hockenson, the Lions added to their depth at the TE position in the offseason as they grabbed a bargain in Jesse James. For me, this dual-threat between James and Hockenson could be lethal this season.
In a short press conference following his selection, T.J. thanked his family for helping him along the way.
“I wasn’t sure if I was gonna come here or not. But because I was able to bring everyone and because I was able to bring all of the closest people that have gotten me to this point, I decided to. Just to be able to share that with them.” He said, adding, “Like I said, I get to play football for a living, how cool is that? That’s been my dream since I was a little kid and it came true. And having my grandpa there, who’s 92-years old now. Just being able to share that moment with him and having him here and being able to make the trip to Nashville, even at 92-years old, that’s something special.”
There was also a lot of positive reaction over on all of the social media outlets, with many delighted by the selection for his talent. That said, many feel this is a selection based on best prospect available and not need, which led to this reaction at a Michigan bar downtown:
To that reaction, I present this rebuttal:
Image Credits: Our very own and very talented, Alex Chinery. (@iamalexchinery on Twitter).