Lions’ T.J. Hockenson Lauded by NFL Analyst for Skills

T.J. Hockenson

Getty T.J. Hockenson celebrates with Lions teammates.

The Detroit Lions haven’t had T.J. Hockenson in the mix for very long, but already, the rookie tight end is catching people’s attention for what he’s able to do on the field.

While Hockenson hasn’t put up eye-popping stats as a rookie, the tight end has managed to find his way into the end zone a few times and has also been a major asset to Detroit’s new rushing attack. It’s these traits which stand out in terms of catching the attention of NFL analyst Andy Benoit.

As Benoit said in a tweet, Hockenson is a player who is more valuable to his team than stats can ever quantify, given the specific role in which he plays within the new look Detroit offense.

Hockenson has 166 yards to start his receiving career and 2 touchdowns, but has also shown his chops as a blocker which is significant to Detroit given the troubles they have had running the ball.

Early Injury Scare Dampens Excitement

The last time he was on the field, Hockenson was busy being carted off after sustaining a fall which ended up looking worse than it was. That was a major relief to the Lions, and now could be used as a major coaching point for not only Hockenson, but the rest of the league.

Though he’s crazy athletic, NFL analyst Brian Baldinger admonished Hockenson for attempting the hurdle move, and warned him and others against the play. It would be nice to see Hockenson use the experience as a valuable tool moving forward on how to pick his spots better.

Positively, Hockenson avoided serious injury on the play and should be able to recover in time to be a factor for Detroit moving forward. The injury did cast a bit of a pall over Hockenson’s nice start for Lions fans given they likely feared for his health and his long-term wellbeing.

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Hockenson on Track for Big Things?

Arguably, the Lions have never had a tight end quite like Hockenson to count on. He is a true dual threat and epitomizes the balance coaches and coordinators are craving at the position in 2019. At Iowa, Hockenson’s numbers were solid, but his biggest impact according to evaluators had to do with the toughness and athleticism he showed up front.

In Detroit, the Lions have long desired this type of balance, and with Darrell Bevell taking over, look like a safe bet to replicate it in the future. That could mean Hockenson is a safe bet to impact the league in significant ways moving forward, providing he can continue to stay healthy through his career.

So far, it isn’t a stretch to say that Hockenson is playing well enough to open tons of eyes, no matter how big his statistical byline might be week to week. If he keeps helping the Lions win and impacting the game in positive ways, they will most certainly take it.

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