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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Minnesota Vikings
(Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press via IMAGN Content Services) T.J. Hockenson /

Physical presence

While Irv Smith Jr. was seen as a tight end with more finesse, T.J. Hockenson provides the Vikings with a physical presence they haven’t had at the position in some time. This is not only going to assist across the middle, but it should also give quarterback Kirk Cousins and the running game another reliable blocker to call upon when needed.

Head coach Kevin O’Connell is conjuring things up nicely for his offensive playmakers through eight weeks. If he can get a tune out of Hockenson sooner rather than later, the better Minnesota’s chances will be.

Adding a level of nastiness to a passing attack that consists of Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and K.J. Osborn won’t hurt, either. There should also be plenty of space for Hockenson to put his aggressiveness to good use.

Smith was a dynamic player coming out of Alabama. But injuries have taken their toll, and in Hockenson, Minnesota’s offense now has a reliable, productive individual that can make things happen with a ruthless streak that’ll make him an instant fan favorite.

As stated previously, picking up O’Connell’s complex system might take time.

Fortunately for the Vikings, they have a commanding cushion over the Green Bay Packers and others within the division. So this trade could prove crucial when postseason football begins.