NASHVILLE, Tenn. — University of Iowa redshirt sophomore tight end T.J. Hockenson was selected by the Detroit Lions in the first round of Thursday’s NFL Draft in downtown Nashville. Hockenson was the eighth player picked overall.
Hockenson is just the second Hawkeye tight end ever taken in the first round, joining Dallas Clark, who was picked 24th by the Indianapolis Colts in 2003.
NFL Draft logo 2019During Iowa’s 9-4 season in 2018, Hockenson caught 49 passes for six touchdowns and led the team with 760 receiving yards. The first team All-Big Ten performer was named Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year, and he was also recipient of the Ozzie Newsome Award from Touchdown Club of Columbus, Ohio, and the John Mackey Award as the top tight end in the nation.
Hockenson was named to multiple All-America teams, including first team by American Football Coaches Association and USA Today.
The Lions are coming off a 6-10 season, fourth in the NFC Central Division. They were 25th of 32 NFL teams in passing yards with 3,599 in 16 games (335.0 yards per game). Former Hawkeye offensive lineman Andrew Donnal is a reserve guard for the Lions.
Iowa has had at least one player drafted in every NFL Draft since 1978. Hockenson is the 67th player coached by Kirk Ferentz at the University of Iowa to be selected in the NFL Draft, and the eighth first round selection. Hockenson is Iowa’s highest selection since 2015 when offensive lineman Brandon Scherff was selected fifth overall.
Hockenson is the 10th Ferentz-coached tight end to be drafted. He joins George Kittle (2017), C.J. Fiedorowicz (2014), Tony Moeaki (2010), Brandon Myers (2009), Scott Chandler (2007), Tony Jackson (2005), Erik Jensen (2004), Clark (2003), and Austin Wheatley (2000).