T.J. Hockenson Takes Home Bland New Tight End Ranking for 2022

T.J. Hockenson

Getty T.J. Hockenson on the field during Lions training camp in 2021.

For the last few years, it can be argued that T.J. Hockenson has been the biggest weapon on the Detroit Lions offense. As a result, he’s been featured plenty and gotten on many NFL radars.

In terms of his tight end position, Hockenson offers a unique skill set given his ability to block and catch. As a result, he’s well-regarded as one of the top players at his position in the league.

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Hockenson stacks up decently against his competition as well, and that’s a fact that was recently proven by Pro Football Focus.

Recently, PFF writer Anthony Treash took a look at ranking the NFL tight ends across the league. Hockenson had a decently high rating on the list, and he placed in the ninth spot on the list in the “best of the rest” tier. As for why, Treash said that Hockenson has been solid but still has some things he can improve upon.

“Hockenson has been great in working the middle of the field from an inline position over the past couple of years: He owns the fifth-best receiving grade in the NFL from an inline position. Hockenson’s blocking, however, is a work in progress,” Treash wrote in the piece.

This feels like a fair rating for Hockenson. The tight end isn’t at the top of the league, but he could still place out as a top 10 tight end given his work on the field so far in his career. There’s a chance for him to push even higher on such lists if he can clean things up, add a bit more production and stay healthy.

How Hockenson Can Improve Ranking in Future

For Hockenson, being the ninth-overall tight end in the NFL isn’t a bad mark, but it’s not likely something he is totally proud of, either. With his youth and talent, Hockenson can make an assault up this leaderboard into the future and only get better in the years ahead. In order to do that, he will have to stay heathy unlike in his rookie season and third season in the league. Additionally, as Treash points out, the site doesn’t view him as the most stable blocker at this point in time, so cleaning that up will help him to be more well-rounded and able to take home a higher rating on the field.

Overall, though, it’s clear that Hockenson is still a player to be taken seriously as it relates to his future in the league at the position. All he must do is stay on top of things and continue to develop in a positive way.

Hockenson’s Career Stats & Highlights

There is simply no understating the importance of Hockenson to the Lions in the future moving forward in 2022 and beyond. The team hasn’t gotten much of anything from any of the other tight ends on their roster the last few years, and while he hasn’t had the most dramatic statistical impact thus far in his career, Hockenson has easily been one of the team’s top rookies in 2019 and 2020 and a player capable of impacting both the run and the passing games.

During his rookie season in 2019 after being a first-round pick out of Iowa, many fans were upset with Hockenson for not making a bigger impact on the game. He had only 367 yards and 2 touchdowns on the year which is not the statistical impact that many people expected from him as a top selection for the team. 2020 was a major bounce back from that, though, and Hockenson put up 723 yards and 6 touchdowns to rebound well. This past season, Hockenson put up 583 yards and 4 touchdowns to his credit and at times has been the only top pass catcher for the team given other injuries on the roster. He fought injury near the end of the year.

Here’s a look at some of Hockenson’s biggest career plays from 2020 season:

TJ Hockenson FULL 2020 Season Highlights2021-01-22T18:40:58Z

Clearly, Hockenson is on the right track to being thought of as one of the best players in the league at his position. If he keeps trending upward and stays healthy, the team will have no choice but to do a long-term deal with him that keeps him around.

In the future, Hockenson could certainly become a player who is elite as a result of this. Already, he’s seen as one of the top players at his position.

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