Matt Waldman’s RSP Film Room examines the versatile and NFL-caliber play of 2019/2020 NFL Draft prospect, tight end T.J. Hockenson of Iowa.
On a national level, mention an Iowa tight end in the scope of NFL Draft conversation and Noah Fant has been the first name to cross the lips of the public. That may be changing soon. As promising as Fant might be to some, he’s not even the best tight end prospect on his team.
T.J. Hockenson has earned that unofficial title and it if subsequent viewings of both prospects yield similar information as what I’ve seen thus far, it might not even be close. This week’s RSP Film Room is a 15-minute analysis of Hockenson’s 104-yard, 2-touchdown performance against Indiana.
However, it’s way more than his NFL chops as a receiver that makes him an exciting prospect. Blessed with prototypical size for the position and room to grow, Hockenson blocks like an Iowa tight end the way Nick Chubb runs between the tackles like a Georgia Bulldog.
In addition to NFL-caliber receptions and releases, Hockenson displays skill with a variety of blocks that will be required of him on Sundays. This Hawkeye is one of the better all-around tight end prospects I’ve seen in years.
A friend of the site says Hockenson studied tape of Rob Gronkowski prior to the season and picked up some skills with his body positioning and routes. Gronkowski is obviously one of the players every tight end must study, Hockenson reminds me of Gronkowski’s draft classmate, Dennis Pitta.
Pitta was a little savvier as a receiver than what I’ve seen thus far with Hockenson but Pitta had that flexible body type that I see from Hockenson — especially with low targets. If Hockenson has a career that matches Pitta’s healthy years, he’ll meet my expectations.
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