According to an ESPN report, the Detroit Lions are expected to prioritize a contract extension with Pro Bowl TE T.J. Hockenson in the coming months after exercising his fifth-year option earlier this offseason. (ESPN)
The Lions selected Hockenson with the eighth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, and although he was able to step in immediately and contribute at the NFL level, he hasn’t completely broken out for fantasy managers yet in his first three seasons. Hockenson finished as a mid-range TE1 in the only season that he didn’t miss time due to injury, but he hasn’t produced at an elite level while playing a position in fantasy where there are few true difference makers. However, there is plenty of reason to believe that Hockenson will take the next step in year four as TEs usually require a few seasons under their belt before hitting their prime and he will continue to be a primary target within an improving offense. The Lions’ addition of former Alabama WR Jameson Williams might be the biggest reason to be excited about Hockenson in 2022. Williams has elite speed and defenses must account for him to prevent getting beaten deep, which in turn should open up the middle of the field for Hockenson. Lions QB Jared Goff has been one of the most reluctant deep passers in the league throughout his career, meaning Hockenson could see more mid-level targets against one on one coverage than he has received in previous years.