Name: TJ Hockenson
Position: Tight End
Weight: 251 lbs.
Hockenson is one of the three best tight end prospects in this years draft class. At 6’5″ and 251 lbs. Hockenson is a physical specimen to behold. Hockenson checks all of the boxes that talent scouts and NFL GM’s alike look for. In fact, Hockenson’s crazy athletic profile have draft scouts drooling over the young tight end from Iowa. There are a lot of teams in the NFL that could use the services of Hockenson, and I think his perfect landing spot is with the Tennessee Titans at pick #19.
Why Should the Titans Target Hockenson So Early?
Simply put, it’s a major position of need. In free agency and trades early this offseason, Titans GM Jon Robinson has been especially active. Acquiring players like WR Adam Humphries and veteran edge rusher Cameron Wake has the Titans in position to draft an elite tight end prospect early. With Delanie Walker coming off a gruesome leg injury and his presence being sorely missed on offense last season, the Titans need to look for a play making tight end in the draft. Enter Hockenson.
In his college career, Hockenson didn’t produce jaw dropping numbers, but he proved himself to be a valuable weapon for the Hawkeyes offense. It doesn’t hurt that he shared the field with other elite tight end prospect Noah Fant. So why should the Titans target Hockenson over Fant? While both would be fantastic options for the Titans offense, Hockenson separates himself from Fant due to his superior blocking ability.
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Hockenson’s Player Profile
In his two seasons starting for the Hawkeyes, Hockenson caught 73 passes for 1080 yards and nine touchdowns. What’s most impressive is how efficient Hockenson was at ripping off big plays. Hockenson showcased his explosiveness on offense by averaging 14.8 yards per catch (YPC) and compiling a college dominator rating of 24.0 percent. 24 percent might not seem like much, but it was good to land him in the 74th percentile amongst all qualified players.
Hockenson’s physical attributes paired with his elite talent make him such an intriguing prospect. Hockenson ran a 4.7 40 yard dash, which may not seem impressive on paper. For a man his size, however, that’s enough to make NFL GM’s fall in love. In fact, it’s so impressive that he earned a speed score, which takes size into account, in the 74th percentile. At his size and speed, Hockenson is a dangerous target from anywhere on the field.
Hockenson has an impressive catch radius. In fact, his catch radius is good for the 91st percentile amongst tight ends. Hockenson has a catch radius metric of 10.28, which for tight ends, is considered extraordinary. Pair that with an upper 80th percentile ranking in burst and agility scores, which indicate excellence at creating separation, Hockenson is a force to be reckoned with.
With Walker getting up there in years (34) and coming off a major injury, the time to plan for the future is now. Walker is a favorite target of quarterback Marcus Mariota and will serve as an excellent mentor from Hockenson on what it means to not only be an NFL tight end, but to be a Tennessee Titan. Should Robinson and Vrabel decide to pull the trigger on Hockenson, this could be a beautiful football marriage.