NAME: T.J. Hockenson
POSITION: Tight End
CLASS: Redshirt Sophomore
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WEIGHT: 243 pounds
The Buffalo Bills released Charles Clay in early February, which left Jason Croom as the only tight end on their roster. Tight end is going to be a key position for the Bills to improve this offseason. They have a young quarterback in Josh Allen who has the arm strength and ability to stretch the field. In college, Allen loved going over the middle between the safeties. Finding a tight end that can stretch the field and block will help improve this offense.
Versatility: A true X-factor weapon and do-it-all prospect. Well balanced in run and pass protection. Dynamic playmaking potential all over the field.
Route Running: Smooth and physical in and out of breaks. Knows how to find space in zone coverage and sit in the pockets. At Iowa ran the full route tree without issues. Routinely gets off the line cleanly with a technique and ability.
Hands: Has soft hands to ensure he gains possession. Catches with his hands, not his chest. Extends his arms and has a great catch radius.
Yards After Catch: Good field vision and decisive in his moves. Willing to make contact or use a stiff arm to create space; also throws in a good hurdle every once in a while. Has exceptional balance to stay on his feet after first contact.
Blocking: Elite run blocker. Uses elite technique and functional strength to create movement. Highly competitive and stays in contact with the defender. Doesn’t stay in to pass protect a lot, but when he does, the results are excellent. Shows good footwork to protect against edge rushers.
Speed: Not going to blow the doors off, but given that this is the only major weakness, it is clear that Hockenson is an all-around good athlete.
Hockenson is going to be a weapon if used right. He has the ability to be an elite blocker and pass catcher. Hockenson can stretch the field and make contested catches and will be the next big thing in the NFL.
He should be a yearly participant at the Pro Bowl and a recurring All-Pro player.
This is why he should (and probably will be) drafted in the top half of the draft.