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Thomas James Hockenson (born July 3, 1997) is an American football tight end for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Iowa Hawkeyes. As a redshirt sophomore in 2018, he was awarded the John Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end in college football.

T.J. Hockenson
refer to caption
TJ Hockenson in 2019
No. 88 – Detroit Lions
Position:Tight end
Personal information
Born: (1997-07-03) July 3, 1997 (age 22)
Chariton, Iowa
Height:6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight:247 lb (112 kg)
Career information
High school:Chariton (IA)
NFL Draft:2019 / Round: 1 / Pick: 8
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 2, 2019
Receiving yards:138
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Early yearsEdit

Hockenson grew up in Chariton, Iowa, where he attended Chariton High School. He was a four-year letter winner in football as a tight end and defensive back, and set school records for receiving yards in a game, season, and career. He led his team to the state playoffs as a senior and was named all-state first team that year.[1] Hockenson was rated as a three-star recruit and the seventh-highest rated recruit in the state of Iowa in the class of 2016 by the Composite, which aggregates the ratings of the major football recruiting services.[2] He committed to the Iowa Hawkeyes on June 20, 2015.[3]

College careerEdit

Hockenson redshirted his true freshman year in 2016. He was one of two tight ends in the starting lineup in Iowa's 2017 opener against Wyoming, along with Noah Fant. He recorded his first career receptions the next week against Iowa State, finishing with two catches for 41 yards in the game.[1] He had his best game of the year in Iowa's upset victory over then-No. 3 Ohio State, where he led the team with five receptions for 71 yards and two touchdowns.[4] Hockenson ultimately finished fifth on the team on the year with 24 receptions for 320 yards and three receiving touchdowns.[5]

Hockenson was listed on the preseason watch list for the John Mackey Award going into the 2018 season, as was teammate Noah Fant.[6] In an early season loss to rival Wisconsin, Hockenson set a career high with 125 receiving yards, including a 46-yard connection from quarterback Nate Stanley.[7] He again eclipsed the 100-yard mark in an October 13 game against Indiana, where he recorded four receptions for 107 yards and two touchdowns.[8] He ultimately finished the season with 46 receptions for 717 yards and six receiving touchdowns, leading the Hawkeyes in the first two categories and finishing one receiving touchdown behind Fant for the team lead. He was named first-team All-Big Ten at tight end by the media voters, and second-team behind Fant by the coaches. He also won the Big Ten's tight end of the year award, the Kwalick–Clark Award.[9] Hockenson was awarded the John Mackey Award, honoring him as the top tight end in college football in 2018.[10] He is the second Hawkeye to receive the award, after Dallas Clark in 2002, and the first sophomore.

On January 14, 2019, Hockenson announced via Twitter that he would be leaving school early to declare for the 2019 NFL Draft.[11]



NCAA Collegiate Career statistics
Iowa Hawkeyes
Season Receiving Rushing
Rec Yards Avg TD Att Yards TD
2017 24 320 13.3 3 0 0 0
2018 46 717 15.6 6 1 4 1
NCAA Career Totals 70 1,037 14.8 9 1 4 1

Professional careerEdit

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 4 34 in
(1.95 m)
251 lb
(114 kg)
32 14 in
(0.82 m)
9 12 in
(0.24 m)
4.70 s 1.64 s 2.75 s 4.18 s 7.02 s 37 12 in
(0.95 m)
10 ft 3 in
(3.12 m)
17 reps
All values from NFL Combine[13]

Hockenson was drafted by the Detroit Lions eighth overall in the 2019 NFL Draft.[14] On May 9, 2019, Hockenson signed a four-year deal with the Lions worth $19.8 million.


Hockenson played his first regular season game on September 8, 2019 against the Arizona Cardinals. He finished the game with six receptions for 131 receiving yards and a touchdown as the game ended in a 27–27 tie. Hockenson's 131 yards were the most in a debut for a tight end in NFL history.[15]

NFL statisticsEdit

Year Team Games Receiving Rushing Fumbles
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2019 DET 1 1 6 131 21.8 39 1 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
Career 1 1 6 131 21.8 39 1 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0


  1. ^ a b "Iowa Football Roster: T.J. Hockenson". University of Iowa Athletics. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  2. ^ "T.J. Hockenson recruiting profile". Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  3. ^ "T.J. Hockenson, 2016 Tight end". Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  4. ^ Allan, James (November 4, 2017). "Iowa Routs No. 3 Ohio State 55-24". University of Iowa Athletics. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  5. ^ "2017 Iowa Hawkeyes Stats". Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  6. ^ "2018 John Mackey Award Preseason Watch List Released" (PDF). July 20, 2018. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  7. ^ Batterson, Steve (September 22, 2018). "Hawkeyes fall to Wisconsin comeback". Dispatch-Argus. Rock Island, IL.
  8. ^ Associated Press (October 13, 2018). "Stanley propels Iowa to 42-16 victory over Indiana".
  9. ^ "2018 All-Big Ten Football Teams and Individual Award Recipients" (PDF). Big Ten Conference. November 28, 2018. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  10. ^ Hendrickson, Dan (December 5, 2018). "T.J. Hockenson wins Mackey Award as nation's top tight end".
  11. ^ Tabbert, Nick (January 14, 2019). "T.J. Hockenson declares for NFL draft". Hearst Television.
  12. ^ "T.J. Hockenson". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  13. ^ "NFL Draft & Combine Profile - Thomas Hockenson".
  14. ^ Twentyman, Tim (April 25, 2019). "Detroit Lions draft tight end T.J. Hockenson". Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  15. ^ Thomas, Chris (September 8, 2019). "Detroit Lions' T.J. Hockenson sets NFL record in debut". USA Today. Retrieved September 9, 2019.