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Lions TE T.J. Hockenson: 'I know my ceiling is high'

The Detroit Lions receiver corps is among the shallowest units in the NFL, headlined by Tyrell Williams, Breshad Perriman, Quintez Cephus, Kalif Raymond and rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown.

Combined, the group has generated one season of 800-plus yards (Williams in 2016). Williams is the most prolific of the unit, and he missed all of the 2020 campaign.

Tight end T.J. Hockenson is the biggest beneficiary of the Lions not replacing Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones with high-production wideouts. The third-year pro should be Jared Goff's go-to target in 2021.

Hockenson told ESPN's Eric Woodyard he's ready for the challenge.

"I'm preparing myself to be the best player that I can be, and I know my ceiling is high," Hockenson said. "I know I can do what other people in this league do, and just being able to prepare myself for that. And maybe it doesn't happen and maybe it does, but I'm just preparing to be the best that I can be, the best that Detroit wants me to be -- and trust me, there's not more of a critic about myself than myself.

"That's another thing is I'm just trying to mute that out and to just do what I can do, and that's all I can do. That's what I'm excited about this year is just being able to work with these new guys, work with these new draft picks, work with Goff and be able to become that and know that I can do that. That's something I'm excited about and something I think we're working toward."

The No. 8 overall pick of 2019 entered the NFL with sky-high expectations. In his first game, he caught six passes for 131 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, Hockenson struggled the rest of his rookie campaign, as most TEs do making the transition to the pros.

Year 2, however, showed the potential of the 6-foot-5 pass-catcher. Hockenson compiled 67 catches on 101 targets for 723 yards and six TDs in 2020.

The 23-year-old is poised to make another leap in Year 3. The confluence of circumstances ranging from questions at WR to potentially trailing in a lot of games to Hockenson's talent coalescing should lead to a career year in 2021.

The 2021 schedule is being revealed today. Purchase your tickets to see the action live, here.

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