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Detroit Lions select TE T.J. Hockenson at No. 8 overall

The Detroit Lions used the No. 8 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft to upgrade an offense that could use a spark through the air.

General manager Bob Quinn hopes to have checked that box by landing highly touted tight end T.J. Hockenson out of Iowa.

Hockenson joins a position group that includes free-agent addition Jesse James, helping an attack that ranked 31st in receptions and receiving yards from tight ends in 2018.

The 6-foot-4 1/2 and 251-pound Hockenson gives the Lions an immediate presence as a next-level run-blocker who also generated production at Iowa as a receiver. He's not the highest-graded player in this draft, but NFL Network draft guru Daniel Jeremiah called Hockenson "my favorite player" to scout, noting the tight end's tough and nasty demeanor.

Iowa has morphed into a tight end factory, boasting fellow first-round pick Noah Fant, who was selected at 20th by the Denver Broncos, and Niners star George Kittle.

Not everyone is sold on Hockenson, with one scout telling longtime beat writer Bob McGinn: "He's safe and productive. It's that against a game-breaker."

Said another scout: "He's not really special at anything except maybe his toughness. But he is a real good blocker and has real good hands. He's got good speed."

The Lions believe they've gotten something closer to Jeremiah's take on Hockenson. The rookie will be given a chance to contribute immediately in Detroit.

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