5 Detroit Lions who are certified building blocks for the future

Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions, Fantasy Football
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Scouting Report. TE. . T.J. Hockenson. 4. 50. Pick Analysis. player

Even as the tight end market reaches new heights with every new deal someone gets, the Lions and Hockenson are line to get a multi-year deal done sooner rather than later. Picking up his fifth-year option for 2023 was a formality, and a pre-cursor/placeholder for contract talks that are presumably ongoing.

In three seasons since being taking eighth overall in the 2019 draft out of Iowa, Hockenson has a Pro Bowl selection on his resume (2020, when he led NFC tight ends in receptions) and back-to-back 60-plus catch seasons (2020 and 2021).

Hockenson has work to do to get back on track as a blocker, with a dramatic drop-off in Pro Football Focus run blocking grade from his rookie season to last year. But Campbell has cited how important he is to the Lions’ offense, while also setting some expectations.

Staying healthy will be a critical key for Hockenson this year, after missing the final five games last year. But almost by default as much as his talent level, with that multi-year deal coming, he’s a future building block for the Lions.