The NFL network writers Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported the Minnesota Viking’s new trade T.J. Hockenson well before the trade deadline.
The Vikings received Hockenson, a 2023 4th round pick, and a 2024 conditional 4th round pick in trade for the 2023 2nd round and 2024 3rd round pick.
The first three weeks of the season were a bit relaxed for the former Iowa Hawkeye player as he took a back seat behind major players such as Amon Ra St. Brown and D’Andre Swift.
However, his luck soon changed when Lion’s week four matchup against the Seahawks and subsequent Vikings hire. Hockenson is still under contract for the rest of the year following a $9.4 million pickup by the Lion back in April.
T.J. Hockenson’s Background
T.J. Hockenson was picked in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft from the University of Iowa by the Detroit Lions as the overall 8th pick.
This selection came in just 12 picks earlier than his teammate Noah Fant who was also from the University of Iowa and joined the Denver Broncos as the 20th overall pick.
His first year at Iowa was redshirting, followed by 70 passes for 100 yards and nine touchdowns. On the other hand, in his first year with the Lions, T.J. was in 12 games where he caught 32 passes in 360 yards with two touchdowns.
The next two seasons were his highlight as in the 28 games he played, and he molded his reputation as the next top-tier tight end in the NFL. He caught 123 passes in 1308 yards and a total of ten touchdowns for the Lions.
— NFL Unlimited (@NFLUnlimited) November 6, 2022
News of Hockenson joining the Vikings
The 25-year-old tight end is quite excited to join the Vikings and could not contain his excitement to be a part of his former rivals. This move solidifies his playoff aspirations as he leaves his struggling team to join a 6 – 1 team.
He shared this news with the media:
“I’m super excited to be here, excited to have a role, a piece in this puzzle. A lot of good guys around here. This facility is beautiful. I’m just excited to be here. There’s nowhere I’d rather be.”
The six-foot-five player talks of his new role as a complement in the offensive weapons while mentioning Justin Jefferson, the wide receiver able to stretch the field, creating opportunities for Hockenson to play midfield.
— NFL (@NFL) November 5, 2022
What does Hockenson have to offer the Minnesota Vikings?
In preparation for his new role, Hockenson is soaking up all the information as he prepares for his next match with the Vikings against the Washington Commanders. “I’m grinding,” he said. “I’m trying to learn this offense as much as possible… but football is football.”
The new Vikings trade-offs suggest the team and its management are determined to make a deep playoff run. The general manager Kwesi Adofo Mensah said about T. J.:
“We try to be judicious with our opportunities, and this just happened to be one of them. T.J. is a great fit.”
Hockenson is in his fourth season and has appeared in a total of 47 games, received fifteen touchdowns, and recorded well over 2000 yards. This season only the Iowa native has had 26 passes in 395 yards with three touchdowns.
T.J. Hockenson (+117) trails only Christian McCaffrey (+163) in yards after the catch over expected this season.
The dynamic tight end is a welcome addition to a Vikings TE group that ranked 30th in YAC over expected (-13) through the first 8 weeks of 2022.#SKOL https://t.co/YxoECEqo6e pic.twitter.com/bThd8aYKHk
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) November 1, 2022
T. J. Hockenson New Role
This new trade resulted from Irv Smith Jr.’s injury, where he suffered a high ankle sprain the eighth week of the season. ESPN’s reporter Adam Schefter reports that Smith will miss up to 10 weeks nursing his injury.
The 25-year-old tight end will provide the Viking’s quarterback Kirk Cousins with one more weapon. Smith, however, is sidelined, living the offense with Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, and Justin Jefferson.
This new addition to the Vikings boosts the squad that initially sits at 6 -1, giving them a lead over the Chicago bear and Green bay Packers and emerging first place in the NFC North. They are only Philadelphia Eagles by one game.
— SKOR North (@SKORNorth) November 2, 2022
Hockenson and The Viking’s current prospects
Adofo-Mensah has been forthcoming about his new approach to a competitive build since he joined the Minnesota Vikings. He plans to contend in the future while also thinking of the team’s future. All the early moves he pulled were in line with this.
Hockenson fits well with Mensah’s timeline, and he can aid the Vikings with a cap hit or $500k for the rest of the season. At 25 years old, his future with the Vikings can be long-term or cut short, depending on how he plays during this season.
This trade is about this season’s success and the future; the Vikings giving up major picks to acquire Hockenson shows that Hockenson can shake things up and deliver major wins for the team.
— Minnesota Sports Now (@MinnesotaSN) November 5, 2022