On this episode of Two Old Bloggers, Darren and Dave are talking about T.J. Hockenson and his potential to have the greatest season by a Vikings tight end ever. In just 10 games with the Vikings, Hockenson caught an impressive 60 passes, finishing the year with a total of 86 catches for 914 yards and six touchdowns. But can he surpass the records set by previous Viking tight ends? The most catches a Viking tight end has ever had is 83, accomplished by Kyle Rudolph in 2016. The most receiving yards a Viking tight end has ever had is Joe Senser, with a whopping 1,004 yards way back in 1981. If Hockenson can surpass 86 catches and 1,004 yards, he’ll be on his way to making history. The most touchdown catches by a Viking tight end in a single season is 11, accomplished by Visanthe Shiancoe in 2009. While this may be difficult for Hockenson to top, it’s definitely possible for him to surpass the 86 catches and 1,004 yards. Hockenson has a great shot at having the best offensive season a Viking tight end has ever had. As the clear number two receiving option on the team and playing with a consistent quarterback in Kirk Cousins, Hockenson is poised for a big year. I predict he’ll have 90 to 95 catches for 1,100 yards if he plays all 17 games this season. The only thing I’d like to see more out of him is more big play ability and more explosive plays. But I’m expecting big things from Hockenson in 2023, and if he achieves them, the Vikings' offense will as well.
The guys then dive into some quick hitters! First up, rumors about Dalvin Cook’s standing offer with the Vikings. Former NFL QB and current CBS talking head Boomer Esiason started a wacky rumor that the Vikings have an offer on the table for about $7 million for Dalvin Cook. However, this seems way off and doesn’t make any sense. The Vikings re-signed Alexander Mattison and drafted DeWayne McBride, which adds to a fairly crowded running back room filled with possibilities. With the way NFL teams are valuing running backs these days, it would seem very odd for the Vikings to have released Cook and cleared themselves significant cap space and then use $7 million of that cap space to bring back Cook.
Next up, is Justin Jefferson’s QB list. Jefferson was asked who the top five QBs are in the NFL, and Kirk Cousins wasn’t on his list. His top five were Pat Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Joe Burrow, Jalen Hurts, and Josh Allen. Most clear-eyed football fans would not put Cousins among the top five QBs in the league, so Jefferson was just being honest.
Followed by, Netflix’s ‘Quarterback’ series has dropped and this is the show worth a season-long behind-the-scenes look at QBs Patrick Mahomes, Kirk Cousins, and … Marcus Mariota? The series seems to be helping Cousins’ image so far, with Viking fans getting the warm and fuzzies about Cousins and coming away impressed with his demeanor, work ethic, and toughness. This could tip public opinion in a positive way to Cousins.
Finally, our free agent spotlight series. Today, we’re taking a closer look at outside linebacker and edge rusher, D.J. Wonnum of the Minnesota Vikings. As he heads into his contract year, the question is, will the Vikings re-sign him? Wonnum had a breakout year in 2021 as a 4-3 end, taking over as a starter after Danielle Hunter was injured. In 2022, he moved to OLB in Ed Donatell’s 3-4 base, but his performance was inconsistent. Although he’s a hard worker, he doesn’t create much as an OLB/edge rusher. While he’s likely to make the team, he’ll likely be a backup behind either Danielle Hunter or Marcus Davenport. If Hunter gets traded, Wonnum could slide in as the starting edge rusher opposite Davenport, but Patrick Jones passed him on the depth chart at the end of last year. Overall, barring a major increase in play and effectiveness, it’s unlikely that the Vikings will make an effort to re-sign Wonnum. It doesn’t help that he’s a Spielman draft pick, and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is trying to make his own stamp on the team.
Darren Campbell and David Stefano are the Two Old Bloggers. Both started public commentary on the Vikings two decades ago on various blogs. They do it via live streams on YouTube and Facebook and podcasts on your favorite aggregator. We appreciate your team fandom and that you are taking the time to enjoy it with us.
Join us for your Minnesota Vikings talk amongst the Two Old Bloggers with Darren @KickassblogVike and Dave @Luft_Krigare. Join the conversation! Fan with us at Vikings 1st & SKOL @Vikings1stSKOL and with our podcast partner Fans First Sports Network @FansFirstSN where you get sports takes for the fan, from the fan!