T.J. Hockenson ranked 7th-best TE in polling of players and coaches

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It’s taken an uncomfortable amount of time, but the Detroit Lions finally have representation on ESPN’s “top 10” at each position. T.J. Hockenson made the cut at tight end, where he was ranked 7th in ESPN’s polling of various NFL coaches, players and executives.

Hockenson ranked fifth in the same polling a year ago. The inability to stay on the field for all 17 games and his lack of eye-popping numbers on a poor Lions offense in 2021 caused him to slide a little.

There’s still quite a bit to like, as was noted in the commentary explanation,

“He has some explosion in the passing game, and he’s a competitive blocker,” an NFC exec said. “As far as all-around tight ends go, he’s really good. Not flashy.”

Hockenson posted a respectable 86.1 Pro Football Focus rating, and his 44.4% reception rate on tight-window throws was sixth at the position (NFL Next Gen Stats).

The lists have already gone over several positions without any Lions in sight, not even as honorable mentions.

San Francisco’s George Kittle topped the list for the third season in a row.

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Poll: Who is the best player on the Lions right now?