A wild NFL Trade Deadline continues as a massive inner division trade sends TJ Hockenson to the Minnesota Vikings from the Detroit Lions for draft capital, per Ian Rapoport.
Minnesota is sending their division rival a 2023 second-round pick, and a 2024 fourth-round pick while receiving Hockenson, a 2023 found-round pick, and a 2024 conditional fourth-round pick.
The Vikings needed an answer at tight end after Irv Smith suffered a high-ankle sprain against the Cardinals, and is expected to miss multiple weeks per Adam Schefter. This is more than just a bandaid fix, this is a major investment.
Hockenson is under contract through the 2023 season, and with Irv Smith both underperforming and becoming a free agent after this season, this seems like a no-brainer move. The Vikings are 6-1 and in the top class of the NFC. They’re looking to cash on their Kirk Cousins investment and are in a prime position to make a playoff push and potentially a Super Bowl run.
Hockenson has over two thousand yards and 15 touchdowns in his career playing in Detroit and having Jared Goff for a large chunk of his career. Kirk Cousins is a clear upgrade over Jared Goff and I expect Hockenson’s production to largely increase this season. As a blocker, Hockenson is solid. He’s a very good and well-rounded tight end. The conditions of the 2024 fourth-round pick are currently unknown, but I still feel that Minnesota is the clear winner of this trade.