Routes - Smooth and physical route runner that knows how to find space in zone coverage and challenge the seam. Has experience running a full route tree with no limitations. Does well to manipulate coverage in his release and stem to uncover and establish leverage. Route breaks are clean and crisp. Gets off the line of scrimmage cleanly, with a variety of techniques and the ability to reduce his surface area to get into his stem. Doesn't tip routes and knows how to sell his breaks.
Hands - Hands are soft and reliable. Plucks the football out of the air with suction cups for hands. Routinely extends his arms and secures the football away from his frame. Exceptional at hanging on through contact and making plays in traffic.
Ball Skills - Attacks the football with an alpha mentality and makes great adjustments to the football. Demonstrates high levels of concentration to haul in acrobatic catches. Can scoop out the low throws, elevate and extend in any direction. Tracks the football and positions himself to compete.
YAC Ability - Decisive and has good field vision. Willing to use that off-hand to execute stiff arms and create space. Will challenge tacklers with physicality and strong contact balance. Isn't afraid to hurdle dudes. Elite competitor with the ball in his hands despite not being the most explosive.
Play Speed - Not going to just blow by coverage, but good athletic ability plus excellent technique maximizes his movement skills. Nuanced player. Has the juice needed to separate from linebackers in man coverage. Does well to alter his route tempo when finding space.
Play Strength - Holds his own and often overpowers defensive lineman as a blocker in the trenches. Plays with exceptional balance and good body control. Plays with great leverage to maximize his power. Breaks through contact at the top of routes and is sturdy in contested situations.
In-line Blocking - Does well to square up blocks, connect with his hands, leverage his hips and accelerate his feet to create movement. Aggressive, finishing mentality when drive blocking. Loves to find leverage points, get under pads and put opponents on skates.
Space Blocking - Connects well in space, but will occasionally get over-aggressive and whiff/fall off contact. Can be used and has been effective both flexed out or lead blocking from the backfield.
Versatility - Shows the ability to fill endless roles as both a receiver and blocker at a high level. Offers dynamic playmaking potential to all areas of the field.
BEST TRAIT - Versatility
WORST TRAIT - Burst? Controlling aggression as a blocker?
RED FLAGS - None
Hockenson is a rare blend of versatility to win as a "modern" tight end with all the throwback ability of a classic player. He is a polished route runner with excellent hands and ball skills that wins both in-line and flexed. He is a punishing blocker that can lineup anywhere in the formation and create space for his teammates. On top of his well-round skill set is that he is an elite competitor in everything he does. Hockenson should be one of the true difference makers at the tight end position in the NFL for years to come.
Round Grade - First Round Value