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Hockenson’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds Fade After Another Quiet Week

TJ Hockenson
Detroit Lions tight end TJ Hockenson has caught just one pass in each of his last two games and has slipped to +2800 in NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds. Photo from @CatchLikeCalvin (Twitter)
  • Detroit Lions’ tight end TJ Hockenson is listed at +2800 to win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award
  • His odds had shortened to +1200 after a six-catch performance in Week 1
  • Hockenson was at +1600 after a quiet Week 2

When it comes to the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award, TJ Hockenson is more like a bouncing ball than a tight end.

The 2019 first-round draft pick of the Detroit Lions opened his NFL career like gangbusters. He caught six passes for 131 yards and a touchdown as Detroit tied the Arizona Cardinals 27-27 in Week 1.

Hockenson immediately moved to contender status at +1200 in the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds.

2019 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds

Player (Team) Odds
Daniel Jones (Giants) +200
Kyler Murray (Cardinals) +300
Gardner Minshew (Jaguars) +450
Terry McLaurin (Redskins) +1200
David Montgomery (Bears) +1200
Josh Jacobs (Raiders) +1200
TJ Hockenson (Lions) +2800

*Odds taken on 09/24/19. 

Since that game, Hockenson has gone from roaring Lion to as quiet as a mouse.

He’s caught just two passes in his last two games. The NFL OROY odds on the rookie tight end from Iowa jumped to +1600 after Week 2.

Following his one-catch performance in Sunday’s win over the Philadelphia Eagles, oddsmakers moved the line on Hockenson to +2800.

Prior to the start of the NFL season, Hockenson’s NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds were at +2800.

Can Hockenson Go Against the Grain?

They’ve been selecting an NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year since 1957. In that span of time, just one tight end has won the award – Mike Ditka of the Chicago Bears in 1961.

Hockenson is providing a solid glimpse into why that is the case.

Tight ends are capable of big games when the defensive scheme opposing an offense works in their favor. That was the case when he exploded for his outstanding performance against the Cardinals.

For the most part, though, the tight end is rarely the first option for an offense. And if the run game is working, they become more valuable pieces as blockers than receivers.

Hockenson was targeted nine times by Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford in Week 1. He’s been targeted a combined seven times in two games since.

As well, Hockenson’s time on the field is diminishing along with his level of performance. He took part in 78-percent of all Detroit offensive snaps in Week 2. That number dipped to 66 percent during Week 3.

How Ditka Did It

Taking a look back at Dikta’s sensational rookie season offers a glimpse into just how dominant Hockenson would need to be in order to win the NFL OROY Award.

Ditka caught 56 passes, 12 of them for TDs. He averaged 19.2 yards per reception.

His 12 TD catches was one off the league lead. Ditka led all tight ends and was fifth in the NFL in pass receptions. He was fourth in the league in yards per catch.

Best to Back a Back

Since 2004, 13 of 15 NFL OROY Awards went either to quarterbacks (seven) or running back (six), with wide receivers claiming the other two wins. Running backs have captured the honor in three of the past four seasons.

The reasons why this is so aren’t difficult to decipher. In an NFL offense, the most touches go to the QB and the feature RB. Naturally, that means they’ll be given the best chance to shine and make impact plays.

Two QBs are the current favorites – David Jones of the New York Giants and Kyler Murray of the Cardinals.

Jones will get the New York hype machine behind him but Murray is capable of more explosiveness.

Pick: Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals (+300)

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