Are the Denver Broncos and Iowa Hawkeyes tight end TJ Hockenson a perfect match in the 2019 NFL Draft? NFL.com says they are.
There are a number of first-round players in the 2019 NFL Draft who would make sense for the Denver Broncos, but NFL.com’s NFL Draft analyst duo of Lance Zierlein and Chad Reuter think one player is a fit above the rest.
In a recent article predicting the ideal top two picks for all 32 NFL teams, Reuter and Zierlein placed Iowa Hawkeyes tight end TJ Hockenson and Texas A&M center Erik McCoy as the top two fits in the first two rounds for the Broncos.
They left Dalton Risner on the board one pick after McCoy, but that’s not the point of this piece.
The point is to talk about what they said in regards to the fit of Hockenson with the Broncos, which is worth thinking about if you haven’t already.
"“Hockenson and the Broncos are one of the best prospect-team fits in this draft, as he immediately helps the run and passing games.”Chad Reuter, Lance Zierlein, NFL.com"
One of the best prospect-team fits ‘in this draft’? Well now, that’s a substantial claim.
The fit of Hockenson with the Broncos is certainly there. The Broncos want their tight ends to be able to play in-line and contribute all three downs as a blocker and receiver.
He can certainly do that.
Hockenson is as clean of a prospect as you will find off the field. He was extremely productive and reliable at Iowa under Kirk and Brian Ferentz. He played in a pro-style offense where he was asked to do many things he will be asked to do at the next level.
Athletically, Noah Fant just ever so slightly compares more favorably to George Kittle, the tight end who had so much success at Iowa and then with the San Francisco 49ers, where Broncos offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello saw firsthand his impact on games.
Though Fant is slightly more comparable, Hockenson has a more well-rounded skillset and is considered a ‘safer’ prospect all-around.
Would the Broncos take Hockenson at 10? Maybe. Would that be a little rich for this team to take a tight end?
The Broncos are trying to win ‘from now on’ so if they don’t take a quarterback with the 10th overall pick, they are just as much in need of a playmaking tight end as they are, say, a linebacker who excels in coverage.
The Broncos’ offense has been a much more significant weakness in recent years.
Hockenson is a better prospect than Devin Bush, but there may be an argument between he and Devin White.
If the Broncos are able to trade down from the 10th pick and somehow still get Hockenson as well as one of the top interior offensive linemen on their board, it will be another draft coup for John Elway, landing instant impact and a player who would start for this team sooner rather than later.