News out of Detroit Lions camp is, 2nd year TE, TJ Hockenson is still battling an ankle injury that took him out for the majority of the 2019 NFL Season. The fact that this is still lingering could be something to keep an eye on moving forward.
The Lions were expecting leaps and bounds from “Hock” this season. After all, when he was taken with 8th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, we all were told he’d be the next Gronk/Kittle. We have seen flashes of greatness from Hockenson. Take a look at last years opening game vs the Arizona Cardinals. TJ Hockenson had 6 receptions for 131 yards and a TD. So when he is fully healthy he looks to be, to paraphrase Dennis Green, “Who we thought he was!”
We will keep a watchful eye on his ankle and the progression during camp. As you know, The Detroit Lions will need all the fire power they can get!
Who would step up for The Detroit Lions?
If TJ Hockenson’s ankle continues to be a nagging problem all season who do the Lions have to take his spot? I’m looking at Undrafted FA Rookie TE Hunter Bryant. Bryant had 52 receptions, 820 yards and 3 TD’s last year for the Washington Husky’s.
NBC’s Jonathan Warner had great things to say about him after falling in the draft,
“Bryant falling out of the draft is the clear-cut biggest head-scratcher on this list. He was 79th overall and the top-ranked tight end on our board, and it’s not as if we were significantly higher on him than most draft pundits. Bryant came in at 98th overall (TE3) on the consensus big board put together over at The Athletic. Barring red flags popping up related to several knee injuries he suffered in the past, Bryant falling out of the draft entirely is a shock.
That plays to the benefit of the Lions. He has arguably the best receiving chops of any tight end in this class, putting up a receiving grade of 91.7 since 2017 to go along with a class-high 2.90 yards per route run. The Lions are already pretty heavily invested at tight end between spending a first-round pick on TJ Hockenson last season and signing Jesse James to a decent-sized deal, but Bryant brings a different element to the group and has the potential to really benefit that offense.”
That is a lot of high praise for a guy who slipped so far. I’m excited to see what Hunter can do in the NFL. Hopefully, this is Bob Quinn’s best draft ever and we got a steal!