With the 19th Overall Pick, the Titans Select…

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Ahhh the Tennessee Titans. A franchise I have no palpable hate for, yet they have been responsible for two defeats which go down in the annals of the storied Chiefs franchise. The first I witnessed in person. 

October 19, 2008, was a beautiful fall day at Arrowhead as I recall, but the weather was the only part of the day that I remember fondly. It’s difficult to pinpoint the rock bottom for the Chiefs that day. Was it the defense that allowed Chris Johnson and LenDale White trample the Chiefs D to the tune of 317 yards and 4 rushing touchdowns? Or was it the complete turtling of the Chiefs offense? Considering this essentially was the last gasp of the Brodie Croyle era (spoiler alert: he got injured), coupled with the thumb injury to the wily veteran Damon Huard, which gave way to Tyler Thigpen, it’s not to difficult to understand why they lost the game, but it was a massive embarrassment. I may be misremembering, but I recall a late game red zone visit where Thigpen ran a naked bootleg to the right side, and found himself the only player within 15-20 yards wearing red and gold. It’s either that, or watching LenDale’s 80 yard touchdown run. I don’t think LenDale had ever run 80 yards without stopping before that play. Flip a coin. Either embarrassment is equally sad.

The second was the playoff implosion two seasons ago. Pissing away a 21-3 halftime lead at home is unconscionable. There’s plenty of blame to go around, from Bob’s atrocious defense, to the play calling and lack of killer instinct of AS11 and Andy. I am not someone who blames officials for losses, but I take exception with this game. The “forward progress” epic failure of a blown call on DJ’s sack/fumble, is borderline criminal, and that missed call unequivocally affected  the result of that game. 

But I digress…and take on the role of Tennessee Titans GM Jon Robinson. 
As both a city and as a franchise, we are honored to host the 2019 NFL Draft. We welcome all NFL fans to take in the sights and sounds of our fair city, and explore all that Nashville has to offer.

With the 19th pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The Tennessee Titans select: TJ Hockenson. Tight End. University of Iowa.

There are multiple positions of need for the franchise to address here, but in Hock, we are getting the most complete TE in this draft class. TJ has the size, 6’5″, 250 lbs, to immediately contribute both in the passing game as a receiver and as a more than capable blocker for our running game. Paring him up with consummate professional Delanie Walker as a mentor is an ideal situation for Hock to learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel at the position as Delanie has done for years in the league. Providing Marcus Mariota with another target was a top priority for our team and we feel we have done just that in making TJ Hockenson a Titan.

Coming into his sophomore season at Iowa, Hockenson projected as more of a blocking tight end in ’12’ personnel, clearly a secondary option at the position to teammate Noah Fant who received the bulk of the spotlight as a preseason All American selection. As the season progressed, Fant found himself in coach Ferentz’s doghouse (for no discernible reason), which allowed Hockenson ample opportunity to blossom into the ultimate security blanket and primary weapon for QB Nate Stanley in Iowa’s offense. Out of 51 catchable targets, Hockenson registered only 1 drop. If that doesn’t scream ‘Elite’, I don’t know what does. His combination of size, speed, and quickness, all contributed to his standout season, which  capped with him winning the Mackey Award as the nation’s best tight end and an Outback Bowl victory over a highly touted Mississippi State team.

His signature play from the past season is likely the bomb he caught against Wisconsin. On that play, Hock showed tremendous ability to track the deep ball, adjust his route, and fight off a defender who was draped all over him, drawing a DPI penalty, while making a phenomenal catch. But you can decide for yourself.

At only 21 years old, Hockenson’s ceiling is extraordinarily high. He’s remarkably polished given his age and limited collegiate experience, and while he’s by no means perfect, there are a couple of areas of his game to target for improvement. Hockenson’s 6′ 5″ frame could even fill out a bit by packing on maybe 10-15 pounds of muscle, which should help going up against more physical defenders without compromising his speed and quickness. Some of his combine metrics were a bit pedestrian. Notching 17 bench press reps as well as his 4.7, 40 time, could give some GM’s a bit of pause, but when you watch his tape, those small details fade away. He’s also coming out of a college program with the reputation for turning out NFL ready tight end prospects. From Marv Cook to Dallas Clark and now the young trio of George Kittle, Fant and Hockenson, Iowa has become a program NFL teams are looking to as a pipeline not for just offensive lineman any longer.

We are thrilled TJ was available at this spot and we look forward to welcoming him to the city of Nashville permanently and to helping him develop into the best football player and person he is capable of being.

Tennessee Titans GM Thepriesttheycalledhim selects: TE TJ Hockenson, Iowa

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  1. Arizona Cardinals – DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama
  2. San Francisco 49ers – DT Ed Oliver, Houston
  3. New York Jets – EDGE Nick Bosa, Ohio St
  4. Oakland Raiders – EDGE Josh Allen, Kentucky
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – CB Greedy Williams, LSU
  6. New York Giants – EDGE Montez Sweat, Mississippi St
  7. Jacksonville Jaguars –  OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida
  8. Detroit Lions – LB Devin White, LSU
  9. Buffalo Bills – OT Jonah Williams, Alabama
  10. Denver Broncos – LB Devin Bush, Michigan
  11. Cincinnati Bengals – QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
  12. Green Bay Packers – TE Noah Fant, Iowa
  13. Miami Dolphins –  QB Drew Lock, Missouri
  14. Atlanta Falcons – WR D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss
  15. Washington Redskins – QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio St
  16. Carolina Panthers – OT Andre Dillard, Washington St
  17. New York Giants – DT Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
  18. Minnesota Vikings – OT Cody Ford, Oklahoma
  19. Tennessee Titans – TE TJ Hockenson, Iowa
  20. Pittsburgh Steelers – 
  21. Seattle Seahawks – 
  22. Baltimore Ravens –
  23. Houston Texans – 
  24. Oakland Raiders – 
  25. Philadelphia Eagles –
  26. Indianapolis Colts – 
  27. Oakland Raiders – 
  28. San Angeles Chargers –
  29. Kansas City Chiefs – 
  30. Green Bay Packers –
  31. Los Angeles Rams – 
  32. New England Patriots –
Do you approve of this pick?
(29 votes)
(1 vote)
Total Votes: 30

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Tony, are you doing two picks a day? I’m trying to gauge when my pick is due so i don’t get caught flat-footed.


He should go before Fant.


Agreed. They both have pro bowl potential, but Hock is a more complete TE at this stage. Fant does have the edge in pure athleticism though.


It was tough to choose between them. I was not aware of Fant’s spell in the doghouse, but my research was likely not as extensive as yours. Fant’s athleticism is what tipped the scales for me, it sounded like he could line up wide and tight, plus his TD numbers. I suspect that yours is the safer pick. But again: great writup.


Thanks. I’m a Hawkeye fan/alumni, so it was a ton of fun to do this writeup. The whole Fant situation was weird, but not unique in Kirk Ferenz’s tenure at Iowa. The short short version is that one of Fant’s relatives (uncle, cousin), tweeted something vaguely critical of Fant not getting enough PT, and his reps declined as the season wore on, especially in the 4th quarter of close games. Ferentz has benched/not appropriately utilized skill position players in the past for such petty things before. He also is obstinate when talking to the media about it and in a perceived attempt to minimize Fant, referred to him as an “athlete”, rather than a TE. It was infuriating. That said, I’m stoked to see them both play in the NFL.


Thanks for the follow-up! Another point: it is my impression that TE is a greater need for the Titans than the Packers, and it’s likely both Hawkeye TEs will be available at #19, but I’m not sure both would be around at #30 (Raiders might grab one with one of their next two first round picks) so I went for Fant at #12 but I expect the Packers will go elsewhere with that pick.


For sure! Fant to the Pack is a good fit for their team/scheme. I think both will be gone within the top 20. If not, the Chiefs should grab whichever is available between the two. Kelce’s 30 and having 2-3 years of him and either Hockenson or Fant would be a helluva lot of fun to watch.


Great write-up, good choice.


Also, was LenDale White the one who pounded on the drums in the old TD Pack band area after his run? I remember it was against Tennessee…


That was Chris Johnson. After his 67-ish yard TD run. That game was so painful to see in person. I was with a buddy of mine who is a Titans fan and I was super hungover to top it off. Ugh.


Makes sense. Though I wonder if they’d go with a WR here.

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Great write up!

We need to see more from Thechieftheycalledhim


Agreed. Great writeup!