Every year we speculate whether or not a first/round draft pick will show out in his first year in the league. There’s always some sort of hype attached, especially if it’s a player taken in the top 10.
T.J. Hockenson is no different. There’s already an expectation that Hockenson will become a great tight end in the NFL for years to come. It’s been something that’s been pretty unanimous... until today.
Bleacher Report wrote up their picks for NFL Players Who Won’t Live Up To The Hype In 2019 and Hockenson made the list. Their reason is that no tight end has ever won the rookie of the year award. They go on to mention how most rookie tight ends struggle to transition to the pro game, and, therefore, Hockenson is doomed to have a bad year.
Both their reasons are true, but it seems strange to include him on the list. While some Lions fans and pundits think Hockenson was the right pick and will more than likely be a great tight end, I don’t think there are many out there that expect a huge season from the eighth pick. So I wonder where they’re hearing the hype.
- Speaking of Bleacher Report. They put out another list on Wednesday that asks which player is on the hot seat for every team. It should come as no surprise that they went with former second-round pick Teez Tabor. Here’s some of what they had to say.
“The 23-year-old cornerback will likely battle Rashaan Melvin and Amani Oruwariye for a perimeter spot. If he doesn’t lock down a starting job for the upcoming season, he may lose a spot in the rotation and—even worse—a place on the roster.”
Tabor is going into a very important third year in the league and has been the subject of much scrutiny for himself and Bob Quinn, who has otherwise had a pretty good draft record. Can Teez figure it out? The early news out of minicamp is that he’s been performing quite well. But then there’s this.
Teez Tabor had yet another interception today. But he was also beat deep not once, not twice, but three times. By Andy Jones.— kyle meinke (@kmeinke) June 6, 2019
Not what you're looking for.
- Former Lion Kyle Van Noy has had a pretty good career since leaving Detroit. He went on to the New England Patriots and won two Super Bowl and played in another. He’s come a long way from being a player that most Lions fans believed was a complete bust.
There’s no secret that Van Noy struggled with the Lions. He just couldn’t seem to find a place on the team, and his play just didn’t gel with what Teryl Austin was trying to do. Van Noy admits that really got to him.
“There are a lot of times when you go to a situation where you’re labeled a bust or things weren’t working out, just wasn’t clicking, you start to question your athletic ability and just life in general. Am I doing everything right?” recalled Van Noy. “I think to stay positive and keep your family and your friends close that are always encouraging you, and just try to grind through it... that’s what I tried to do.”
Ultimately he says this is what helped him become a better player. Our friends over at Pats Pulpit have a great story on him:
Kyle Van Noy’s struggles in Detroit made him the player he is today. https://t.co/WQfUkWqSlK— Pats Pulpit (@patspulpit) June 12, 2019
- ESPN reporter Michael Rothstein has a great article out today detailing Lions receiver Tom Kennedy’s quest to become an NFL player after spending most of his time at college playing lacrosse. It’s a crazy story that features all kinds of twists and turns that wind up with Kennedy finding his way onto the Lions roster. Give it a read.
Why ex-lacrosse pro Tom Kennedy is chasing NFL dreams with the Lions https://t.co/hpi7a7LYpe— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) June 12, 2019
- Former Lions running back Kevin Smith has made the turn from former NFL running back to running backs coach.
Now the running backs coach for Florida Atlantic, Smith talked with Dave Birkett this week about life after football and how he’s helping FAU become a running school that’s sent three running backs to the NFL since taking the job, including Bills third-round pick Devin Singletary.
- The CFL begins their season this week. Our own Canadian correspondent John Whiticar is sure to be pretty excited about it. As will Lions rookie Jahlani Tavai and teammate Leo Koloamatangi. Both have brothers in the league.
Kolamatangi’s brother, Meffy, plays on the defensive line for BC Lions while Tavai’s brother, J.R., plays on the defensive line for the Ottawa Redblacks.
#Lions C Leo Koloamatangi's brother, Meffy, plays on the defensive line for the BC Lions (@BCLions) of the @CFL.— Detroit Lions PR (@LionsPR) June 12, 2019
Raised in East Palo Alto, Calif., the brothers went on to play together at @HawaiiFootball from 2013-16. pic.twitter.com/7A9FHbRwYP