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Lions select tight end eighth in the NFL Draft, two Michigan Wolverines make top 15

Lions select Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson 8th overall in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Nashville, Tenn. — The 2019 NFL Draft held in Nashville was packed with fans waiting to hear who would be selected first overall by the Arizona Cardinals. As expected, quarterback Kyler Murray from Oklahoma walked the stage first. Murray will look to develop a pocket presence with the Cardinals.

Michigan fans had to wait until the eighth overall pick to see who Detroit would select. A few defensive players were available, and some assumed Lions General Manager Bob Quinn would trade down. Instead he picked up Iowa Hawkeye tight end T.J. Hockenson. The 6’5″, 250 pound tight end finished his sophomore campaign with 49 grabs for 760 yards and six touchdowns.

Hockenson can block and catch. Very versatile player, and just what Matthew Stafford needed on offense. Interesting pick considering that Detroit just signed former Steeler Jesse James and  Logan Thomas, but after round one Quinn was happy with the selection.

“Creates a lot of versatility when you have a strong, deep tight end group.”

With the emphasis on more passing and a shift toward more open offenses, the tight end spot has become a critical component of NFL attacks. Every team is eager to find the next Rob Gronkowski or Travis Kelce or Zach Ertz, not just the lead blocker.

The Hawkeye becomes the fourth tight end selected in the top ten since 1997, and the Lions were the last team to pick one when they chose Eric Ebron tenth overall in 2014.

Other top picks include Michigan Wolverines Linebacker Devin Bush to the Pittsburgh Steelers ninth overall and defensive end Rashan Gary 12th to the Green Bay Packers. No school has had players selected in more consecutive NFL Drafts than Michigan. 81 straight years, from 1939 to 2019.

Here are the top 15 of 32 round one selections:
1) Kyler Murray, QB – Cardinals
2) Nick Bosa, DE – 49ers
3) Quinnen Williams, DT – Jets
4) Clelin Ferrell, DE – Raiders
5) Devin White, LB – Buccaneers
6) Daniel Jones, QB – Giants
7) Josh Allen, Edge – Jaguars
8) T.J. Hockenson, TE – Lions (Iowa Hawkeyes)
9) Ed Oliver, DT – Bills
10) Devin Bush, LB – Steelers (Michigan Wolverines)
11) Jonah Williams, DT – Bengals
12) Rashan Gary, DE – Packers (Michigan Wolverines)
13) Christian Wilkins, DT – Miami
14) Chris Lindstrom, G – Falcons
15) Dwayne Haskings, QB – Redskins