On Monday, ESPN shared a list of 100 players that they believe will be the best in the NFL during the upcoming 2023 season. Three current members of the Minnesota Vikings were included on the list, however, tight end T.J. Hockenson was not among the three that were selected.
Superstar wide receiver Justin Jefferson earned the highest ranking among Vikings players that were included on the list as he was given the No. 2 spot. Pass rusher Danielle Hunter (81st) and quarterback Kirk Cousins (94th) were the other two members of Minnesota's current roster to earn spots on the list.
A total of three tight ends were selected for the list, but Hockenson was not one of them. Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs (12th), George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers (30th), and Mark Andrews of the Baltimore Ravens (47th) were the only tight ends in the NFL that were deemed worthy enough by ESPN to be included on their Top 100 list.
For someone who reportedly wants to reset the market for tight ends with his next contract, one would think that Hockenson should at least be regarded as one of the top 100 players in the league. But according to these recent ESPN rankings, the Vikings tight end is not expected to even be one of the 100-best players in the NFL this season.
Is Minnesota okay with investing a significant amount of money in a tight end who isn't even regarded as one of the top 100 players in the league when they have other notable members of their roster to pay in the near future like Jefferson and left tackle Christian Darrisaw?
Is Hockenson worth an extension that pays him closer to what the top tight ends in the NFL are currently making? For sure, a believable argument can easily be made for that.
But is he worth getting paid more than any other tight end in the league? Hockenson might believe this, but the Vikings might not, and this could be part of the reason why the team hasn't been able to agree to an extension with their top tight end yet.