T.J. Hockenson

Robert Read, Sports Reporter

The NFL Draft kicks off tonight in Nashville, Tennessee, in what should be a great PR night for the Iowa football program.

Both Hawkeye tight ends, T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant, are locks to go in the first round, and it looks as if they will both be gone by pick No. 20.

The only question is, who will go first?

Both Hockenson and Fant have showcased why they are NFL-caliber players, but if I was submitting a pick on tonight, I would write Hockenson’s name.

It is almost a consensus among draft analysts that Hockenson is the top tight-end prospect in this year’s draft, with NFL.com draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah going as far to call him the “safest pick in the draft.”

Hockenson certainly has the potential to back up that title. He fits perfectly the mold of what a tight end should look like in today’s NFL.

At 6-5, 250 pounds, Hockenson has the frame and the strength to be both a mismatch against linebackers and safeties in the passing game and a devastating blocker in the running attack.

The running game is perhaps where Hockenson is at his strongest. Not many tight ends have highlight videos dedicated to them pancaking opposing defenders, but he is not like many tight ends.

Between the impressive film he has in his back pocket and a solid Combine performance, he has received favorable pro comparisons. Another NFL.com draft analyst, Lance Zierlein, compared the John Mackey Award winner to Kansas City Chiefs’ standout Travis Kelce.

Not a bad-looking comparison at all.

Picking between Fant and Hockenson is a win-win scenario, because either way, you get one of the next great Hawkeyes from “Tight End U.”

Facebook Comments