By Conor Perrett

We have our first trade of the deadline and it’s an in-division trade with TJ Hockenson going from the bottom of the NFC North to the top with a move to the Minnesota Vikings.

TJ Hockenson stats: Position: Tight-end, Receptions – 26, Yards – 395, Average – 15.2, Touchdowns – 3, PFF Grade – 69.4

Trade Details 

Vikings Receive:

  • TJ Hockenson
  • 2023 4th-round pick
  • 2024 Conditional 4th-round pick

Lions Receive:

  • 2023 2nd-round pick
  • 2024 3rd-round pick

Vikings POV: In a rare in-division trade TJ Hockenson won’t have to travel far to Minnesota as the Vikings get themselves a great all round tight end. 

Now in his fourth season, Hockenson was highly rated coming out of college for his blocking ability, while having the talent to run routes like a reciever. In the NFL, that is where we have seen Hockenson at his best, being able to run any route in the playbook. He got to the Pro Bowl in 2019 doing it and in a pass-heavy Vikings scheme, he should be able to excel even further. 

TJ’s blocking reputation has left a lot to be desired and he has not translated to the pros from what we saw in college. Whether it’s in pass protection or run blocking, Hockenson has had a difficult time chipping edges or blocking them straight up.

All in all this trade for the Vikings improves them greatly as they run away with their division. They add a great receiver option that will give Kirk Cousins a big target in the end-zone, something he has been missing since Kyle Rudolph. 

On his day TJ can be a top-5 tight end, but he can also be very inconsistent.  With a pay day on the horizon, will the Vikings cough up that money for him?

Grade : A-

Lions POV: When former tight end Dan Campbell came into town it looked primed for the current incumbent TJ Hockenson to explode. He had just come off a break-out year and entering a rebuild, Hockenson was the only weapon Jared Goff had. 

Now the Lions have added a few new targets into their offence since then and T.J would regularly fall into the shadows. His involvement became inconsistent and Goff would turn to other receivers instead of his old top target Hockenson.

The Lions now move up to gain second and third round picks and give up two fourth round selections. 

Was it worth it? It opens another hole for this team which isn’t ideal, but entering the final year of his contract next year it seemed Hockenson wouldn’t be around for much longer anyway. He is due a new big contract and the Lions did not want to pay him that so they cashed in now for some picks.

For the Lions it means they now have five picks in the top 65 in next year’s draft and frees up some much needed cap space. The position  won’t be easy to fill in the meantime but after a 6-1 start they can take a long term view on things. 

Grade: B-

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