JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Last season, the Jaguars tight ends combined for one touchdown reception. ONE.
That lack of production could be addressed by drafting T.J. Hockenson.
It’s very rare that tight ends go in the top 10 of the NFL Draft. Since 2006, Eric Ebron (10th to Detroit in 2014) is the only tight end to be drafted in the top 10.
However, this position is a huge need for the Jaguars. This offseason, they signed Geoff Swaim. The former Cowboys player is more of a blocker than a receiver. Last season, he caught 26 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown.
At Iowa, Hockenson excelled as both a blocker and a receiving threat. He’s a big target at 6-foot-6, 251 pounds. The redshirt junior also has the speed to create separation. At the NFL combine, Hockenson ran a 4.7 in the 40-yard dash.
“You look at some of the best teams in the league and the tight ends they have had,” said Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell at the NFL combine. “My time in Atlanta, we always had a good tight end. My team in Indianapolis … It is probably the quarterback’s best friend, especially to have a guy that can make plays in that role. For us, we are a run-oriented team and I think it would be a key factor for us to have a guy that can make plays.”
Tight ends have historically had success in John DeFilippo’s offensive system. It’s also no secret that Nick Foles’ favorite target in Philadelphia was tight end Zach Ertz.
The Jaguars haven’t had a tight end top 500 receiving yards since Marcedes Lewis in 2012.
Even if Hockenson isn’t the pick at No. 7, this is likely a position that the Jaguars will address at some point during the 2019 NFL Draft.