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Wednesday open thread: Who will be the Lions’ TE1 in 2019?

T.J. Hockenson is only a rookie, but can he beat out Jessie James for the starting job?

NFL: AUG 01 Detroit Lions Training Camp Photo by Allan Dranberg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The eighth overall pick of the draft is usually expected to make an immediate and significant contribution to their respective team. T.J. Hockenson should do just that with his blocking abilities, but the learning curve for tight ends when it comes to operating as a receiver is one of the steepest of any position in the NFL.

Star tight ends such as Jimmy Graham, Vernon Davis, and Eric Ebron (yes, Eric Ebron) took an average of at least two to three seasons to blossom into their complete forms as receivers, and unless he’s a miraculous exception, the same can be expected from Hockenson.

That’s not what it seems in training camp thus far, however. Hockenson is turning heads by consistently making catches in traffic and coming down with just about every contested catch. It seems like he is adjusting well—much better than he should.

Will T.J. Hockenson overtake Jesse James as TE1:

My answer: Yes.

I usually try to bring a voice of reason to this website, and particularly to our question of the day, but today I’m sipping the Kool Aid. Reports out of Allen Park have been nothing short of remarkable for Hockenson, and most of them have been regarding his ability as a receiver.

While Darrell Bevell’s offense will spotlight two tight ends and both will inevitably play big roles this year, I think before Week 7 the Hock will unseat Jesse James as undisputed TE1. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jesse James and think he will continue to improve as a tight end this year, but the Hockenson hype train is boarding and I’m sitting in first class.

Your turn.


Who will be the Lions’ TE1 in 2019?

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    T.J. Hockenson
    (1002 votes)
  • 10%
    Jesse James
    (114 votes)
1116 votes total Vote Now

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