POSITION: Tight End
CLASS: Redshirt Sophomore
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 243 lbs
Speed: Isn’t as fast as his teammate Noah Fant (who is?) but still possesses enough speed to challenge defenders at every level of the field. Would classify it as very good speed but not elite.
Ball Skills: Natural catcher of the football who uses excellent hand positioning. Catch radius is large as well. Consistently displayed the ability to full extend and adjust his body to haul in passes. So if the ball is thrown in his vicinity, he is more than likely going to come down with it.
Route Running: Nuanced route runner that possesses excellent foot quickness. Gets in and out of his breaks cleanly with minimal steps. Also sells his stems very well. Making it difficult for defenders to anticipate/identify the route he is running. Does a great job of using subtle contact when breaking off his route to beat press coverage. Understands leveraging and how to manipulate his opponents to get optimal positioning.
Blocking: One of the best blocking Tight End prospects I have ever seen. A straight up mauler in the run game. Uses text book hand placement when latching onto defenders’ chest plates. Also has phenomenal core and lower body strength that allows him to generate movement at the point of attack. Multiple reps of pancaking and driving opponents 10 yards away form the play. Does a great job of reach blocking edge defenders. Understands optimal leverage and body positioning that creates lanes in outside zone. Very good in pass protection as well.
YAC Ability: Isn’t going to make a ton of defenders miss but is still a nightmare to tackle. Contact balance is superb. Displays the ability to break multiple tackles in one rep. Also can run opponents over if he gets a full head of steam.
Contested Catch Ability: Body control, ball tracking skills, and strong hands make him extremely effective in 50/50 situations. Knows how to use his body to shield off defenders to make catches. Also possesses a natural ability to high point the football. Will thrive as a red zone target.
Awareness: Very intelligent football player. Did everything Iowa asked him to do at a high level. Which is extremely impressive for a red shirt Sophomore. His understanding of leverage and coverage is phenomenal.
Competitive Toughness: Hockenson is the ultimate competitor who wants to impose his will on his opponents. Coaches will love the toughness that he displays on the field.
Best Trait: Complete Skill Set
Worst Trait: YAC Ability (still a strength)
Best Film: Wisconsin (2018)
Worst Film: Penn State (2018)
T.J. Hockenson is one of the best tight end prospects we have seen over the past few years. It is very hard to find any holes in his game because he is so well rounded. The only argument people might have against him is that he is not an elite athlete like Evan Ingram, OJ Howard, or even his teammate Noah Fant. However, he looks plenty athletic on tape and is more polished as a prospect than any of those players were/are coming out of school. He will make an instant impact as a blocker and as a receiver on which ever team that drafts him. So it would not be surprising if he had pro bowl caliber production in year 1 and was an all pro by year 3.
- Crabbs, Kyle. “2019 NFL Draft Player Profile: T.J. Hockenson.” The Draft Network, 2 Feb. 2019, thedraftnetwork.com/2019/02/02/2019-nfl-draft-player-profile-t-j-hockenson/.
- Mosher, Marcus. “Raiders LT Kolton Miller Leads the League in Sacks Allowed.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 18 Dec. 2018, raiderswire.usatoday.com/2018/12/17/raiders-lt-kolton-miller-leads-the-league-in-sacks-allowed/.