The more film watched on TJ Hockenson, the more it seems he will be long gone before the Patriots pick 32nd. However, one never knows these days as players get injured in practice (like Jeffery Simmons), poor combines or pro days hurt their value, and sometimes guys just slide due to demand.
Although historically the Patriots never really trade up in the draft, this Iowa tight end might be worth breaking the trend for. That is of course assuming he doesn’t miraculously fall into their hands at the end of the first round.
Here is what makes Hockenson so good:
- Good jump off ball, quickly gets out of three point stance
- Gets hands inside and doesn’t overextend, dominant blocking technique
- Lowers pads
- Keeps ball high and tight, protects the football
- Nice awareness
- Can outrun Big Ten linebackers and corners, making him hard to one on one with good RAC (run after catch)
- Always gets lower than his man when blocking, gets good leverage on his guy
- Really nice hands
- Extremely athletic and agile for a man of his size
- Fundamentally sound
- Disciplined route runner
- Good balance and control
- Can adjust to the ball very nicely
- Phenomenal focus and ability to get his feet down in bounds, great awareness of his surroundings
Hockenson is a future Pro Bowler. One of the easiest prospects to evaluate in this class. Good at pretty much everything. The only weaknesses I can come up with are that he doesn’t always high-point the ball and he can sometimes be too aggressive as a blocker at the 2nd level.-Evan Lazar, CLNS Media
Hockenson just continues to demonstrate that he is the complete package in film review. His potential really is something to marvel over.
There is very little to complain about in his game. The aggressive blocking and high-pointing, as mentioned in the quote by Evan Lazar, were somewhat of a concern, but not enough to not draft him for it. He seemed to always improvise during some minor mistakes.
Another con to mention was his hands when catching the football were sometimes spread too far apart, but like the other problems, he improvised and did not let it become an issue.
His teammate Noah Fant gets more coverage for his more flashy ability. Although, Hockenson will be a far better NFL player and it may not even be close.
TJ might just be the best tight end to come out of the NFL Draft since Hunter Henry or George Kittle.
Hockenson has drawn comparisons to former Iowa tight end George Kittle before. Kittle just came off a phenomenal stat clinic of a season. Hockenson has also been compared to Dennis Pitta and a mini Gronk (A stretch but I have heard it). The one that suits him best would be Dennis Pitta, who when healthy was a very good tight end for Baltimore.
If the Patriots could get their hands on this guy, not only would a combo of Gronk and Hockenson be hard to stop in 2019, but Hockenson himself would be a deadly force for years to come.