4 key ways T.J. Hockenson can instantly help the Vikings in 2022

(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) T.J. Hockenson
(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) T.J. Hockenson /
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How can newly acquired tight end T.J. Hockenson instantly help the Minnesota Vikings in 2022?

With the Minnesota Vikings sitting at 6-1 and Irv Smith Jr. set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines, those in power wasted little time in finding a replacement. A bombshell swoop for T.J. Hockenson from the Detroit Lions was confirmed just hours before the 2022 trade deadline, which adds another intriguing piece to an offense that is firing on all cylinders right now.

Hockenson is a former top-10 selection that could be a significant upgrade on Smith if he hits the ground running. It might take him a couple of games to adjust, but considering the Vikings are aiming for a deep postseason run, his presence could become a tremendous asset down the stretch and when the playoffs roll around.

Minnesota paid a premium for Hockenson’s services, sending their 2023 second-rounder and a 2024 third-round selection to the Lions, which is the second time the NFC North rivals have done business this year.

It’s an intriguing move, to put it mildly. Here are four key ways that Hockenson can instantly help the Vikings in 2022.

Key Way No. 1

Minnesota Vikings
(Junfu Han-USA TODAY Sports) T.J. Hockenson /


Making a trade like this brings about increased expectations. Hockenson was a No. 8 overall selection in 2019, and even though he never truly hit the heights expected in Detroit, that could immediately change within an expansive offensive scheme on a team poised for the postseason.

Hockenson’s arrival brings additional urgency across the board. Something that could benefit the Vikings on and off the field as they look to emerge from dark horses into legitimate Super Bowl challengers.