Detroit Lions quick study: Predicting T.J. Hockenson’s second year

T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

T.J. Hockenson has big potential going into his second year with the Detroit Lions.

Detroit Lions fans, how are you doing through this tumultuous offseason? In this installment of Kick In The Crotch Weekly, we’ll discuss the Lions young tight end, T.J. Hockenson‘s second year. Is he ready to explode, or should we temper our expectations in fantasy or real life?

Detroit Lions breakout candidate

A big reason for the hope that our offense can take a step forward is the young playmakers that comprise our skilled positions. Hockenson is coming off of am injury-plagued rookie season where he started great but ended with just 32 receptions for 362 yards receiving and just two scores.

Hockenson was drafted eighth overall and bears the expectations that come with the prestigious draft status. Former tight end and top-ten pick, Eric Ebron, had to deal with similar expectations and eventually fell out of favor with the team and their fans, in part due to the expectations. Hockenson is looking to improve his performance and stave off pundits.

This conversation has both real-life and fantasy football implications but we’re just hoping that football happens in a semi-normal time-frame and that Hockenson can contribute to wins. It could make this the most fun season if we hold on and can tolerate each other for a few months more.

At 6-5, 247-pounds, “Hock” has the prototype size that elite tight ends possess in the NFL. The list of George Kittle, Zach Ertz, Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, and O.J. Howard are all players that we should inspect to see what kinds of increases we might see. He compares as “similar” to all of them.

If we averaged their rookie seasons, Kelce did not record a reception in his rookie year, we would say that they averaged 502.8 yards-per-game based upon their performances. That’s pretty close to where Hockenson landed with his 59 targets.