T.J. Hockenson is young and will make mistakes, but I can’t say that I believe his learning curve will be the same as so many that have come before him. Every player is their own individual and making the jump to the highest level of competition in your chosen sport is never easy. Yet some make that jump look much easier than others.
What Hockenson has going for him that Eric Ebron and so many other young players haven’t is not only how much natural ability he has, but how hard he works and above all else, an incredibly mature focus to details.
The entire Lions organization told us how happy they were to select Hockenson in the draft, but consider what has transpired between then and now. Hockenson rolled through OTA’s making very, very few mistakes and turning heads daily. Since the start of training camp, it has been more of the same, including two weeks of practicing against the Patriots and Texans. And I still don’t think anyone has been able to cover him.
Hockenson will have a few opportunities to really shine in the exhibition season but keeping him healthy will be concern number one because the Lions believe he has a chance to really contribute this season.
Now, do I expect something like 70 catches for 800 yards and 10 touchdowns? I suppose that would be asking too much, but I also wouldn’t be too surprised if it happened either.
The biggest mystery of the 2019 Detroit Lions will be their offense. The defense established their identity last season and should take a big step forward this year. The real question is; will the offense be able to bounce back from a poor showing last season and be productive while running the ball the way Matt Patricia wants to, but also being innovative in the passing game?
Every quarterback needs a security blanket. For Matthew Stafford, that should be Hockenson who is too big for defensive backs to cover and too athletic and savvy, even at this young age, to be covered by a linebacker.
Greatness may not be waiting for T.J. Hockenson this year, but expect him to turn plenty of heads on his way to it.