NFL Mock Draft: Why T.J. Hockenson is the right pick for Lions at No. 8

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 02: Tight end T.J. Hockenson of Iowa works out during day three of the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 2, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

DETROIT - The NFL Draft is this week and the Detroit Lions hold the No. 8 pick in draft.

Last week, GM Bob Quinn talked about how he felt the Lions are in a position to draft the best available player, I agree with him. He also addressed the possibility of trading up or down, though it seemed like Quinn was more open to dropping back in the draft and picking up extra picks rather than moving up to select one of the top defensive lineman; once again, I agree with him. 

The Lions are in a pretty good spot this year; they have a competitive roster, a franchise QB, they spent money on some big name free agents, and hold a top-10 pick that can go in any direction they choose. 

There are a lot of GMs around the NFL that wouldn’t mind trading places with Bob Quinn. 

Lions prediction for first round of NFL Draft:

8. Detroit Lions – T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa: I know, ANOTHER TIGHT END. But hear me out on this one because T.J. Hockenson is a special talent. The first thing you need to know is he is basically a carbon copy of Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz, two of the best in the league. 

Standing 6’5”, Hockenson will be a red-zone target in the NFL, a trait that is coveted by NFL franchises. 

Hockenson may be the purest route runner in the draft, including wide receivers. He can create separation from defenders while running out of a 3-point stance, or when he is split out wide. Along with the smooth routes, Hockenson does something that only a select few can do -- he pulls away from defenders as the ball is in the air, allowing for big plays up the field. 

When it comes to blocking, Hockenson can hold his own. His teammate and fellow first round prospect Noah Fant rarely stayed in to block, so a lot of the blocking fell on Hockenson’s shoulders, and he was able to move lineman to open up running lanes for his backs. 

 At the end of the day, T.J. Hockenson is the best offensive player in this years draft. Lions fans may have a tough time drafting another TE in the first round, but with all the depth on the defensive line, its not really worth taking one here. After that, where else would you have the Lions go?

Helping out the secondary would be nice, but Greedy Williams would be a reach here. It never hurts to help out the offensive line, but do you really want to draft a guard at No. 8?

Devin White and Devin Bush are nice players, but do they fit Patricia’s defense? You already have the running back of the future, and there isn’t a wide receiver that even warrants a conversation here. 

Barring an epic draft day slide from Bosa, Allen or Williams, Hockenson is the pick for the Lions. 

Keep reading: NFL Mock Draft 2019: Full first round predictions

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