Some could say that Hockenson has not even reached his full potential. I am one of those people. He only appeared in 12 games his rookie season and recorded a lousy 32 receptions on 59 targets for 367 yards receiving, and two touchdowns. He broke out in 2020 playing and starting all 16 games while recording 67 catches on 101 targets for 723 yards receiving and two touchdowns. This is what the Lions drafted him to do, and Hockenson continued to impress during the 2021 season. While he did suffer from a change at quarterback play, going from a top-tier passer in Matthew Stafford to Jared Goff. His production dipped a bit, but he still managed 61 catches on 84 targets in 12 total games. He did come up 200 yards shy of his career high, but it seems that the Lions are ready to use him to his full potential and their number one playmaker, beside the late breakout rookie season of wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown.
It’s no surprise to anyone that Detroit has picked up his fifth year option while only costing the team a salary of $9.39M for the 2022 season. An upcoming extension could be giving him more than that salary on a per year basis, so they’ll take another season of top tier tight end play for $9M in a star 24 year old.