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The Vikings made a significant move hours before Tuesday's trade deadline, swapping draft picks with Detroit to obtain tight end T.J. Hockenson.

The move makes a good deal of sense for the 6-1 Vikings, who will be without tight end Irv Smith Jr. (ankle sprain) for several weeks, and might have been in the market for an upgrade even before Smith's injury.

Most Vikings fans seem somewhere between on board and completely fired up with the news.

If you aren't all that familiar with Hockenson, let's get up to speed. Here are five things you should know about him:

  • Hockenson is an Iowa native and starred in college for the Hawkeyes, winning the John Mackey Award as college football's best tight end in 2018. That led to him being chosen No. 8 overall by the Lions in the 2019 draft. At the time, he was the highest drafted TE since Vernon Davis (No. 6 in 2006). Kyle Pitts was since chosen No. 4 in 2021.
  • He's the No. 13-graded tight end per Pro Football Focus this season, considerably higher than Smith (No. 48) and Vikings blocking tight end Johnny Mundt (No. 57). In 2020, when Hockenson made the Pro Bowl, he finished fourth among tight ends with 67 receptions.
  • Hockenson has played 47 career games (42 starts) and has missed nine games in his career due to injury — four as a rookie after a season-ending ankle injury and five last year after having season-ending hand surgery.
  • He has shown throughout his career that he has big play and big game ability. He had a 58- yard catch and run Sunday against Miami where he made the Dolphins pay for being overly aggressive. And the 81-yarder earlier this year (below) against the Seahawks was part of an eight catch, 179-yard, two TD game. He should give Kirk Cousins a dynamic short to intermediate target and could help the Vikings get their rollout passing game going.