TJ possesses decent 4.70 40-yard dash speed and has the ability to outrun LBs. However, Hockenson runs slower on routes on third downs and later in games.
Hockenson only had one drop on the season and received a 2% drop rate. Hockenson also has the concentration, catch radius and ball skills to haul in challenging catches with defenders in his face.
Hockenson can seal off defenders to position himself for good catches. He has good fakes with his head and hips to phase out defenders and gain separation. He is also able to get separation with his physical playing style but needs to have crisper cuts and to wait longer before he looks towards the QB on Hitch, out and comeback routes in order to fake out defenders more often. He also finds holes in zone coverage.
Hockenson demonstrates excellent strength, to push defenders back in the run game, and shred press with his physicality. He also is a tough blocker who can hold his own against much bigger defenders.
Hockenson exhibits an exceptional ability to perform impact blocks in the run blocking game. Hockenson throws LBs and some DEs around like rag dolls when run blocking. Also, Hockenson has great blocking technique.
Hockenson showed great agility during the 3-cone drill and shuttle drills. Also had the elusiveness to hurdle PSU safety Nick Scott last season. However, this elusiveness isn't showcased as much when he runs routes.
Run After Catch
TJ averages 7.3 YAC a reception and demonstrates the strength needed to move the chains.
Big Play Ability
Hockenson has the hands necessary to make a miraculous catch, and the blocking skills needed to perform a fantastic block to create a running lane/hole.
Hockenson has no significant injury history.
Finished with the fourth-most receiving yards of all collegiate tight ends and had some of the best blocking in the NCAA for TEs.
Hockenson has no major character concerns, and seems humble and poised during interviews.
Hockenson develops excellent chemistry with his QBs and showcases great chemistry and IQ when he plays. He also has a great work ethic on every blocking play and good instincts.
Hockenson trailed off a bit as the season progressed, but this was mainly because defenses were double-teaming him, and his QB wasn't stellar. As a blocker, he is consistently excellent.
Hockenson demonstrates excellent ball skills and has a large catch radius, which allows him to be a tremendous passing target for his QB. Even in traffic, Hockenson is able to have enough concentration and grip to hold onto the ball and still pick up yardage. Another reason why Hockenson is such a good target is because he performs excellent head and hip fakes that freeze a defender, and he ha a knack for finding holes in zone coverage. When it comes to the blocking game, Hockenson regularly moved around defenders as if they were rag dolls. His combination of technique and power is impeccable and leads to many impact blocks that greatly benefit his RB.
Hockenson isn't much of a pass blocker because he doesn't have the lower body strength necessary to hold his ground. Also, Hockenson doesn't have enough elusiveness to get a lot of separation in routes. He has elusiveness, but it is not enough to gain significant separation from DBs or LBs. Another weakness for Hockenson pertains to his speed because he frequently gets slower in between breaks on routes on 3rd downs and during the second half of games.
Matthew Stafford and Darrell Bevel should be extremely excited to have TJ Hockenson as a starting tight end. He is a humongous upgrade at the tight end position and will give Matthew Stafford a reliable target. Running back Kerryon Johnson will also love the running lanes and holes necessary for Johnson to consistently pick up big runs. Hockenson's instincts and ball skills will make him a quick fan favorite in the Motor City and will help to propel the Lions to improved offensive output. He will be a good fantasy sleeper at the tight end position and be a terror for NFC North defenses for years to come.