Minnesota Vikings Make Splash Trade, Acquire T.J. Hockenson From Detroit
During the 2022 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings made several moves with teams within its own division including the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers.
That theme stayed true before the trade deadline as the Vikings made a splash and traded for former 1st-round pick T.J Hockenson with the Lions. Hockenson, a tight end, went to college at the University of Iowa and has 26 catches on the season for 395 yards and three touchdowns.
The complete trade, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter includes:
TJ Hockenson, a 2023 fourth-round pick, and a conditional 2024 fourth-round pick
A 2023 second-round pick, and a 2024 third-round pick
It is the second trade that the Vikings have made with the Lions this season. At the draft, the Lions moved up from 32 to 12 to select Alabama wide receiver, Jameson Williams, while the Vikings took safety Lewis Cine at 32.
This time, it is the Vikings making the big leap forward to a position of need.
The depth of the team's tight end position was tested once again as Irv Smith Jr. suffered an ankle injury and is expected to miss multiple weeks. With the Vikings at 6-1 on the season, and a healthy division lead, Minnesota decided to make a big swing in acquiring the former 1st-round pick.
T.J Hockenson has been a steady player for the Lions since he was drafted in 2019, but has never topped over 800 yards in the season. The most touchdown he has scored was in 2020 when he found the endzone six times.
It will be interesting to see how Hockenson fits into the Vikings offense. The 6-foot-5, 250 lbs tight end isn't a rental player, either. The Lions picked up Hockenson's 5th-year option before the season, so he is signed with the Vikings through the 2023 season.
An offense that has Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, and K.J Osborn has now added another threat in Hockenson. It may take time for Hockenson to really find his role on the team, but he does provide an immediate upgrade at a position of need for Minnesota.
Will it push the Vikings over the top? It is tough to say. The Vikings schedule hasn't been incredibly difficult to start the season, and they have not blown the doors off anyone. When Minnesota travels to Buffalo to battle the Bills, that will be a true marker to see where this team is at against the elite of the elite.
Hockenson could be a key contributor on third down for the Vikings. At times throughout games, the Vikings offense tends to stall and leads to three-and-outs. Hockenson could be the piece that helps the Vikings move the chains on third downs when the offense needs it most.
The Vikings aren't shoving all of their chips into the pile yet, but his move signals that Minnesota is ready to win right now.