Hockenson Legit, Madden Shows off Tight Ends

Hockenson Contract
Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson (87) celebrates his touchdown against the New England Patriots during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

As the Madden 24 ratings reveals role on, the recent unveiling highlighted Kansas City Chiefs superstar Travis Kelce becoming the next member of the 99 Club. Although there aren’t a ton of dominant tight ends across the league, Vikings pass catcher T.J. Hockenson is among them.

Hockenson Legit, Madden Shows off Tight Ends

Last season the Minnesota Vikings saw it was imperative they add another pass catcher for Kirk Cousins. Needing to supplement the group anchored by Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah grabbed T.J. Hockenson from NFC North rival, Detroit. Although it didn’t come at a cheap price, Kirk Cousins was given another reliable weapon in the passing game.

Hockenson Legit
Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson (87) makes a catch while New York Jets linebacker Kwon Alexander (9) defends during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Even before Irv Smith Jr. went down with yet another injury, Minnesota clearly needed help through the air. K.J. Osborn wasn’t enough as the third option, and Thielen had clearly lost a step. Hockenson stepped up in a big way and provided a security blanket for Cousins.

EA Sports clearly took notice of Hockenson’s abilities and gave him a 90 overall rating in Madden 24. That tally made him the fourth highest-rated tight end in the NFL and had him behind Kelce, George Kittle, and Mark Andrews. It’s hardly a shock to suggest that the Vikings tight end is that good.

Minnesota has had some good receivers on the edge of the line in recent seasons, and they all had their numbers revealed today as well. Here are the notable names worth checking on:

Tyler Conklin – 78

Featured with the New York Jets after leaving Minnesota, Conklin will be interesting to watch with former Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers under center. Rodgers has made more than his fair share of mediocre options very good, and Conklin could find himself rising to new levels in the year ahead.

Irv Smith Jr. – 75

Given how athletic Smith Jr. has proven to be with Minnesota, this one seems a little light. Now moving to the Bengals, it remains to be seen if he’ll stay healthy at all, but if he does, there should be ample opportunity. Joe Burrow is a superstar, and the tight end room in Cincinnati is void of any other real talent.

Josh Oliver -72

Vikings.com’s Gabe Henderson talked with new Minnesota Vikings tight end Josh Oliver after he was signed by the team during 2023 NFL free agency. Oliver is on deck to serve as the Vikings TE2 in 2023 behind TE1 T.J. Hockenson.

Replacing Smith Jr. as the backup for Minnesota, Oliver will find opportunity in Minnesota. Kevin O’Connell’s offense, pass-happy as it is, doesn’t often feature the second tight end. Still, the Vikings need to provide Cousins with options, and they signed Oliver for a reason.

Johnny Mundt – 66

The former Oregon Ducks tight end showed nicely at times last season, but he’s still clearly a work in progress. It remains to be seen how he’ll factor in behind Hockenson and Oliver, but there’s at least a usable option.

Nick Muse – 63

Vikings Waive Rookie TE
Sep 25, 2021; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks tight end Nick Muse. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports.

It remains to be seen how many tight ends the Vikings will roster this season, and Muse isn’t exactly a lock to make it. Still, he has been around with Minnesota for some time, and this is where he checks in for Madden in the year ahead.

Ben Sims – 62

An undrafted rookie out of Baylor, Sims caught 31 passes for 255 yards last year. He’s probably a practice squad player at best.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.