Hockenson, a redshirt sophomore, is one of several one-year wonders in the 2019 NFL Draft class whose promise of untapped potential could earn him a shockingly high grade by draft day. Some, in fact, believe he may wind up being the first pass-catcher selected.
It is easy to see why when viewing Hockenson's tape, which is probably precisely why the Iowa native opted to remain in state and learn from noted TE-enthusiast Kirk Ferentz despite a stacked position group already in place featuring then-Hawkeye George Kittle and Noah Fant, among others.
Hockenson redshirted as Kittle and Fant battled for playing time in 2016 before emerging as a legitimate weapon as a redshirt freshman in 2017, hauling in 24 passes for 320 yards and three touchdowns while Fant drew coverage outside. Hockenson supplanted Fant as Iowa's primary target in 2018, leading the Hawkeyes with 49 catches for 760 yards and six touchdowns, earning first-team All-Big Ten honors and the John Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end.
Rare full-service tight end equally adept at securing contested catches on underneath routes, attacking down the seam or generating movement as a blocker. Quality athlete who accelerates smoothly into his routes, exhibiting good quickness out of his breaks to create separation. Soft hands to pluck outside of his frame. Excellent height and leaping ability (37.5" vertical jump) to win jump balls.
The biggest criticism scouts have with Hockenson is that he came in slightly lighter and slower than the tape suggested and that he operated in a pro-style offense that may have slightly inflated his production.
Regardless, expect an NFL team to invest a first round pick in the hope that Hockenson is just scratching the surface of his ability.
Projection: First Round
--Field Level Media