The 6-1 Minnesota Vikings are off to a great start, and before the NFL trade deadline, they added another piece to their roster.
Minnesota traded a second-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and a third-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft to the Detroit Lions in exchange for TE T.J. Hockenson, a fourth-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the teams announced Tuesday.
After placing tight end Irv Smith Jr(ankle) on injured reserve, the Vikings needed a tight end, and Hockenson fits the bill.
Hockenson has 26 receptions for 395 yards, the most receiving yards in his career through the first seven games of a season, and three touchdowns. Among tight ends, the 25-year-old Hockenson is first in yards per receptions, first in yards in a game, and fifth in receiving yards.
In Week 4 vs. Seattle, Hockenson set a career-high with 179 receiving yards (the most by a tight end this season and the most ever by a Lions tight end), including a career-long 81-yard reception, the second-longest play from scrimmage in the NFL this season. In the contest vs. Seattle, Hockenson totaled 109 yards after the catch, the most in a single game in the NFL in 2022 and the most for a tight end since 49ers TE George Kittle had 136 vs. Denver on Dec. 9, 2018.
The fourth-year tight end spent his entire career in Detroit. The eighth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Hockenson has appeared in 47 career games with 42 starts, collecting 2,068 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns on 186 receptions in his career. After a career-high 67 catches for 723 yards and six touchdowns in 2020, Hockenson earned Pro Bowl honors.
Minnesota added Hockenson to an offense with many weapons, including Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and Dalvin Cook. The Vikings are trying to win now, and adding Hockenson will help.