[#FilmWithFive] Prospect Preview: TE T.J. Hockenson

The tight end position is in need of some help. Whether you’re a fantasy football enthusiast or just a casual game-watcher, you’re aware that the position itself is, and has been, a wasteland. How did we get here? Well, as you can imagine, there’s been some hits, and a lot more misses.

2010’s class was legendary, featuring Rob Gronkowski (42), Jimmy Graham (95), and Aaron Hernandez (113).

2013 looks strong in it’s own right, with players like Zach Ertz (35) and Travis Kelce (63) carrying the class. Vance McDonald (55) has flashed from time-to-time while guys like Tyler Eifert (21) and Jordan Reed (85) offer some super-high ceilings, but can’t seem to stay on the field long enough for it to really matter.

Then we jump up to 2017. The expectations were, and still are, high. Entering their third seasons, we’re at the point where consistent contributions should start to roll in. O.J. Howard (19), Evan Engram (23), David Njoku (29) and fifth-round steal George Kittle (146) should make an impact for seasons to come. Help may finally be on the way.

I don’t recall many (any?) being high on Kittle’s prospects. That’s looking pretty foolish. All he did was smash the Combine and post the class’s best SPARQ score; a class filled with freaky athletes. Kittle’s game, much like Gronkowski, transcends pass-catching abilities. While 2019’s class is not the same group as 2017 athletically (or not one I expect to be), the talent is certainly there and there’s depth throughout. If 2019 hits, and 2017 continues to live up to the hype, the tight end position will be in good hands.

Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson is being touted at the top of this talented, deep, 2019 offering. I don’t think that’s wrong.

More than just a decent athlete and a pair of hands; blocking matters.

His game is littered with plays like this…

…and that’ll surely keep the bar high. This young man was nice enough to put an entire compilation piece together of Hockenson just burying dudes. Enjoy:

Draft fans and big media and team scouts and film grinders alike all seem to be on the same page. Those who actually cover the team tend to agree, too: There’s something special about Hockenson.

Big play threat.

Blocking is important. Blocking will keep Hockenson on the field. If you’re really feeling greedy, you also want your tight end to make a few plays and move the chains. Hockenson can do that as well.

He’s a load; contact balance and ability after the catch stands out.

Lined up out of the slot on this scramble drill. Looks like a dead play initially, or a throwaway, but turns out to be the opposite. Just throw it in 38’s vicinity.

He won’t test as well as his teammate nor the former Hawkeye, Kittle, but by no means is he a slouch of an athlete.

Above all else, reliable hands; it’s the little things.

Kittle is coming off a monster 2018 campaign. He literally broke records. I think Hockenson’s hands coming out of school are right there, if not better, than Kittle’s as a prospect.

Starting it off right over the middle. He’s really good everywhere.

Again in the middle of the field, and fighting for more — does lose the ball here but his teammate is able to secure. Don’t miss the forest for the trees.

Let’s put the cherry on top: Hockenson with ridiculous concentration and effort on this sideline grab. Paws are there.

Catch me on Twitter: @StillRyanFive