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Lions Select Iowa TE T.J. Hockenson with the 8th Pick in the NFL Draft

The Lions made a major upgrade at the tight end spot on Thursday night, as the team picked Iowa TE T.J. Hockenson with the 8th overall pick.

Here’s highlights of the Iowa TE

And a scouting report on Hockenson:

Strengths:

Excellent blocker
Developed blocking technique
Big frame
Leaping ability
Red-zone weapon
Reliable hands
Soft hands
Quick down the seam
Mismatch weapon
Too fast for linebackers and some safeties
Too big for safeties to cover
Dangerous run-after-the-catch skills
Breaks tackles downfield; gets yards after contact
Tough to get on the ground
Tracks the ball well
Athletic
Fast for a tight end
Adjusts well to the ball
Good route-runnner
Finds the soft spots in zone coverage
Fearless in the middle of the field

Weaknesses:

Adequate speed, but not overwhelming
Good, but not great, athlete

Summary: Teammate Noah Fant entered the 2018 season with more hype, but it was Hockenson who became the star tight end for the Hawkeyes. While splitting targets with Fant, Hockenson totaled 49 receptions for 760 yards with six touchdowns. Both then entered the 2019 NFL Draft and have early-round potential, but Hockenson’s excellent 2018 season vaulted him to being the top tight end for the 2019 NFL Draft.

As a blocker, Hockenson is special. He is like an extra offensive lineman with his ability to tie up and handle defenders. He has size and strength, and should be able to win his blocks at the NFL level as well. Hockenson gives a relentless effort and displays excellent technique. His blocking should improve with pro coaching, but he enters the NFL as a plus blocker and significantly better than most receiving tight end prospects.

Hockenson has mismatch potential for the passing game. With his quickness and athleticism, Hockenson will be tough for linebackers to cover, and his size is problematic for safeties. Hockenson does a nice job of using his frame to shield defenders from the ball and win on contested catches. He also has reliable hands and is dangerous after the catch. He runs through tackles and picks up yards after contact downfield. In the open field, Hockenson will hurdle defensive backs, but he may want to be careful about doing that in the NFL or he will be putting his body in a vulnerable situation.

Check out the Complete 2019 Detroit Lions Schedule

The 2019 NFL Schedule is out – and Lions fans you can start to look at what trips you want to take and days off as well!

Here it is – the complete 2019 Lions slate!

Sept. 8 at Arizona Cardinals 4:25
Sept. 15 Los Angeles Chargers 1:00
Sept. 22 at Philadelphia Eagles 1:00
Sept. 29 Kansas City Chiefs 1:00
Bye
Oct. 14 at Green Bay Packers (Mon) 8:15
Oct. 20 Minnesota Vikings 1:00
Oct. 27 New York Giants 1:00
Nov. 3 at Oakland Raiders 4:05
Nov. 10 at Chicago Bears 1:00
Nov. 17 Dallas Cowboys 1:00
Nov. 24 at Washington Redskins 1:00
Nov. 28 Chicago Bears (Thanksgiving) 12:30
Dec. 8 at Minnesota Vikings 1:00
Dec. 15 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00
Dec. 21 or 22 at Denver Broncos TBD
Dec. 29 Green Bay Packers 1:00

Lions Set to Ink Steelers Free Agent TE Jesse James

The Lions are set to get an upgrade at the tight end spot once the free agency period starts on Wednesday, as the team is going to ink Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James.

The news comes according to NFL reporter Mike Garafolo, who says that the Lions have a deal in place with James, who over the past four years has 36 starts to his credit for Pittsburgh.

James has been with the Steelers since 2015, and is best known for his touchdown that was brought back at the end of the debacle against the New England Patriots late in the 2017 season.

Lions Bringing Back Long Snapper Don Muhlbach for a 16th Season

The Lions are bringing back Don Muhlbach, as the team announced that they have re-signed the long snapper, who has been on the roster since 2004.

Muhlbach came to Detroit as an undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M, starting his career first with Baltimore, but he did not make the final roster and was released.

He’s second all-time in games played with the Lions at 228, only behind former kicker Jason Hanson.

Lions LB Trevor Bates Pleads Not Guilty to Three Charges While Still in Psychiatric Ward

Lions linebacker Trevor Bates has been arraigned from a hospital psychiatric ward on charges he punched a New York City police officer after failing to pay a taxi fare, the Associated Press reports.

The 25-year-old pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges including assault, resisting arrest and theft of services.

His lawyer says they’re looking forward to “resolving this manner in an expeditious and satisfactory fashion.”

Bates was arrested around 1:30 a.m., Jan. 26 at a hotel near LaGuardia Airport after allegedly refusing to pay a $32 cab fare.

Police say they would’ve let Bates go with an appearance ticket if he didn’t have any outstanding warrants, but he refused to be fingerprinted and slugged a sergeant.

Bates’ bail was set at $5,000 cash. His next hearing is scheduled for March 8th.

Is Lions Coach Matt Patricia’s Job Safe? He Thinks So

It’s a fair question to ask whether Lions coach Matt Patricia’s job is safe. The answer, after receiving matching five-year contracts with general manager Bob Quinn this past offseason, is almost certainly yes.

But has Patricia been told he’ll be back in 2019, one way or the other, by team owner Martha Firestone Ford? Patricia beleives he will be back, Justin Rogers of the Detroit News reports.

“I’m pretty confident,” Patricia said. “Everything for me, right now, is just keep moving forward and getting ready for the game this weekend. Like I said, I meet with Mrs. Ford every week, so they’ve been great. Her and her family have been great.”

Patricia said he prefers to keep the nature of those conversations between the two parties.

“I’m going to keep everything in-house as far as all that’s concerned,” Patricia said. “I think, again, we’re just pushing forward for Green Bay right now. I want to keep the topic of Green Bay; that’d be great.”

Video: NFL Network Previews the Week 16 Vikings at Lions NFC North Battle

Move the Sticks hosts preview the Week 16 matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and the Detroit Lions.

Lions Place DE Ezekiel Ansah on IR with Shoulder Injury

The Lions put on Tuesday defensive end Ezekiel Ansah on injured reserve Tuesday according to the team’s official website.

Ansah dislocated his shoulder against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday and is expected to require surgery. Playing on the franchise tag, the 29-year-old Ansah was limited to seven games by shoulder issues this season.

He notched four sacks on 146 snaps after posting 12 sacks in 2017. Originally the No.5-overall pick out of BYU in 2013, it seems likely that Ansah has placed his last down for the Lions.