T.J. Hockenson was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 2019 as a babyfaced cornhusker yearning to lead a disastrous franchise out of the muck. As the years (and the losing) dragged on, Hockenson started to sprout some stubble and let his locks flow freely.

Little did we know this was all a ploy. That young T.J. was using his follicles as a cry for help, begging to be released from the prison of Ford Field. On Trade Deadline Day 2022, the call for help was answered. The man who went from business casual to full out norse viking, was becoming a Minnesota Viking. Skol indeed.

First-year Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah saw his young spry starting tight end Irv Smith Jr go on IR and immediately dialed up his divisional rival to see if Hock could be had. A quick 2nd and 3rd round pick later, the Iowa product was on his way to the land of purple.

The Vikings sit at (semi-surprisingly) 6-1, with a 3.5-game lead on the rest of the NFC North. This move could be exactly what the doctor ordered for both parties to make a long postseason run.

VikiVikings Stat Munchies

  • In 2018-2021, Kirk Cousins averaged 7.5 yards per attempt to tight ends. This year, Cousins averages just 5.4 yards per attempt to tight ends

  • Kirk Cousins is 30th in the league at quarterback rating (QBR) when targeting tight ends

  • TJ Hockenson is averaging 9.2 yards per target this season