For most Lions fans, it’s today’s slate of defensive linemen and linebackers that is of big interest. This is the group that holds the Lions possible edge-rusher that they so desperately need. Or if they do sign free agent Trey Flowers, many will consider Monday’s defensive backs the big show because of LSU cornerback Greedy Williams.
Yet it is entirely possible that the Lions’ choice showed out yesterday. That’s right, tight end T.J. Hockenson.
I know, I know, we all shudder at the very thought of the Lions using another high pick on a tight end. We think of Eric Ebron and it only sends images of Aaron Donald and what could have been, running through our head.
But whether we like it or not, tight end is a big need for the Lions. A need that could be filled very nicely with the eighth pick. A pick that would give the Lions their choice from a talented group of tight ends that will be available come the draft.
The consensus is that there are three tight ends that stand above the rest in Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant and Alabama’s Irv Smith. Yet Hockenson is considered the most complete of the batch. An accomplished in-line blocker who runs outstanding routes has very good hands and finishes every play.
Whether it’s running with the football or blocking.
This kid may not have shown the athletic measurables of Fant or Smith, but his poise and ability to do everything well bodes very well for whichever NFL team is lucky enough to get him.
The question is; will it be the Detroit Lions?
Last season the Lions tight end group had less of a pulse than Joe Buck calling a baseball game on lithium. The need for a player that can not only contribute to Matt Patricia’s commitment to the ground game but a player that can be a weapon in the passing game as well is very important.
Especially considering the questions marks that now surround the Lions receiving corps.
Both tight end and receiver are positions of need for the Lions. Both will obviously affect the success of the passing game which in turn will affect the rushing attack. If you can’t pass, defenses will stack the line of scrimmage and stuff the run, but if the passing game can be resurrected, then it will only help Kerryon Johnson and the Lions run the ball that much better.