Assistant Editor & Staff Writer
EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings have added a big-name tight end to the roster.
Minnesota has acquired T.J. Hockenson from the Lions via trade, the team announced Tuesday.
The Vikings will receive Hockenson, a 2023 fourth-round pick and a conditional fourth-rounder in 2024 in exchange for a 2023 second-round pick and 2024 third-round selection.
The No. 8 overall draft pick in 2019, Hockenson has spent the past three-plus seasons in Detroit. He remains in the NFC North division as he transitions to Minnesota.
Hockenson joins a Vikings tight ends room with Irv Smith, Jr., Johnny Mundt and Ben Ellefson. Smith suffered an ankle injury Sunday and is “week to week.” Ellefson, who suffered a groin injury in Week 4, must remain on the Injured Reserve list for at least one more week.
Here are five things to know about the Vikings newest tight end:
1. Former Hawkeye
Hockenson formerly stood out at the University of Iowa, where he and Noah Fant were the Hawkeyes two starting tight ends.
View photos of Vikings TE T.J. Hockenson who was traded to the team on Nov. 1.
As a redshirt junior in 2018, Hockenson finished the season with 46 receptions for 717 yards and six receiving touchdowns, leading the Hawkeyes in the first two categories and finishing one receiving touchdown behind Fant for the team lead.
Hockenson received First-Team All-Big Ten honors by the media and a Second-Team selection by the coaches. He also earned the Kwalick-Clark Award, which is given to the Big Ten’s top tight end, and the John Mackey Award, which honors the top tight end in FBS.
2. Left his mark with the Lions
Hockenson played in 47 games (42 starts) for Detroit.
He totaled 186 catches for 2,068 yards and 15 touchdowns. His most productive season came in 2020, when he recorded 67 catches for 723 yards and six touchdowns on the way to the Pro Bowl.
So far this season, Hockenson has averaged a career-high 15.2 yards per reception.
3. Die-hard Disney fan
Hockenson is a huge fan of all things Disney.
When he was drafted by the Lions in 2019, ironically he was wearing socks of his favorite Disney film, The Lion King.
Get this – T.J. Hockenson’s favorite movie is Lion King. He wore “King of the Jungle” socks to the draft tonight and ended up being drafted by the Lions. pic.twitter.com/0vujpNsyhw
ESPN’s Michael Rothstein wrote the following in an article shortly after Detroit drafted Hockenson:
He has a bunch of different Disney pairs [of socks], and he’s a fan of all the movies and cartoons. His dog’s name? Lilo, from Lilo & Stitch, of which he also has a pair of socks for the movie. He’s been to Disney “a few times” and called it “the best place on Earth.” Favorite ride? Space Mountain, which he calls “a classic.”
4. Iowa native
Hockenson grew up in Cherokee, Iowa, but later moved with his family to Chariton, Iowa, where he played football and basketball at Chariton High School.
He played tight end and defensive back, setting school records for receiving yards in a single game, season and career.
As a senior, Hockenson helped lead Chariton to the state playoffs and received All-State First-Team honors that year.
At the time of the trade, Hockenson is the only Iowa native on Minnesota’s roster.
5. Practiced yoga for a cause
In July 2021, Hockenson teamed up with fellow NFL tight ends George Kittle and Robert Tonyan for a unique fundraising effort. The trio led a virtual yoga class with the help of Kittle’s sister, Emma.
Fans could register for the online class with a $35 donation to Haiti Creates, a nonprofit aimed to help Haitian children receive a quality education.
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5 Things to Know About New Vikings TE T.J. Hockenson – Vikings.com
Assistant Editor & Staff Writer