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Potential Bills target: Draft analysts’ take on T.J. Hockenson

Hockenson would instantly become one of the most valuable pieces on the Bills offense

After cutting Charles Clay and allowing Logan Thomas to walk in free agency, the Buffalo Bills were left with only Jason Croom on the roster. They put another band-aid over the position with the signings of Tyler Kroft and Jake Fisher. T.J. Hockenson is one of the more polished prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft and would instantly be TE1, along with being one of the offenses’ most versatile weapons.

Joe Marino of The Draft Network and Lance Zierlein of have this to say about Hockenson:

Joe Marino

“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.”

Lance Zierlein

“In a draft that feels light on high-end talent, Hockenson is an ascending talent with a chance to become one of the best all-around tight ends in the game. He should continue to fill out his athletic frame, but he’s already a sound in-line blocker with the toughness to sustain and finish. His above-average athleticism and separation burst will help him win against linebackers while his body control and hands give him an advantage over safeties. Hockenson has standout talent and fits any scheme, but he could be coveted early by teams looking to delve more heavily in 12-personnel (two TE packages).”

Hockenson played in 23 games over two seasons at Iowa and he is coming out of college as a redshirt sophomore. He had a total of 73 catches, 1,080 yards and nine touchdowns. Hockenson would become one of Josh Allen’s best friends on the field. He’s a mismatch wherever he’s lined up and his blocking ability makes him valuable on every down.

Come draft night, if Hockenson is the Bills’ primary target, there's a possibility he wouldn't be available with the ninth pick. Hockenson is a top-10 player in this draft and if he’s available to them, the Bills would fill a need with likely the best player available.