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Detroit Lions draft another top-ten tight end in T.J. Hockenson

The last time Detroit went this route, it didn’t work out for them. Will this time be different?

NFL: NFL Draft Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

In other NFC North news, a few selections before Green Bay Packers picked Rashan Gary 12th overall, the Detroit Lions decided to use the number 8 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft on Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson. There is nothing wrong with T.J. Hockenson, who is a very athletic tight end who can stretch the field and hold his own in the run game. He’s an exceptional athlete for the position and there is at least some chance he could become an elite player along the lines of a Travis Kelce.

Unfortunately for the Lions, there are reasons to question this pick. Tight ends are really more of a luxury position, and most players there don’t make an immediate impact. Even when they do, it’s minimal compared to just about every position group outside of running back. As Justis Mosqueda frequently points out, the return on investment just isn’t there:

The Lions need a virtual total rebuild, and tight ends are for teams that are just a piece or two away. This is how bad teams stay bad — after all, the Lions just tried a top-ten pick on a tight end a few years ago when they picked Eric Ebron 10th overall in 2014. And best of all, he wasn’t there to tempt the Packers, though their pick at 12 has his own set of concerns.