Tight ends have become one of the most important positions in the NFL. Their ability to block, run routes, catch the football, and create mismatches make the defenses job a lot more difficult. I am going to talk about my current top 5 tight ends in the National Football League. I will start off with some honorable mentions who did not make the list.
- Jimmy Graham
- Gary Barnridge
- Zach Ertz
- Antonio Gates
- Jason Witten
- Travis Kelce
Now to the top 5 list:
5. Delanie Walker
Since coming over from San Francisco to Tennessee, Walker has taken off. His best year was last season where he racked up over 1,000 yards and 94 receptions. One trait that makes Walker so special is how physical he can be. He is one of the strongest tight ends in the NFL despite being only 6’0”. His strength also translates well to his blocking abilities, as he is one of the best in the business in that area. Walker is also one of the better route runners in the NFL and is shift enough to break away from linebackers. It will be exciting to see the duo of Mariota and Walker for years to come.
4. Jordan Reed
Jordan Reed was finally healthy last season, and he quickly became defenses worst nightmare. As one of the most “fun to watch” players in the league, Reed’s speed, shiftiness, and route running make him seem like he is a wide receiver playing tight end. He also has great hands, as he only dropped 3 balls last season. It is simply just too much for linebackers to keep up with this guy. Reed last season had 11 touchdowns and just under 1,000 yards and created a special connection with Kirk Cousins last year. You can argue that Reed got snubbed last year from the pro bowl. However, Reed could be seeing his name in the pro bowl for many times to come if he can just stay on the field.
3. Tyler Eifert
Tyler Eifert had a career year last season. After suffering a bad injury in 2014, Eifert came back stronger than ever. Standing at 6’6”, Eifert moves like a wide receiver, which makes him a scary mismatch for opponents. He led the all tight ends in touchdowns with 13. That was in only 13 games as he suffered a minor injury. However, he was still one of Dalton’s favorite targets last season. At only 25 years old, Eifert has so much potential and if he stays healthy, he can become a dangerous tight end for years to come.
2. Greg Olsen
After an unfortunate injury to wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, Cam Newton had a shortage of targets. However, he still had Mr. Reliable, Greg Olsen. Last season, Olsen only had 4 dropped balls out of 136 targets as he is one of the best in the league when it comes to tracking down the ball and securing it. Olsen had 1,000 yards last season for the second straight year. He has quickly established himself as one of Cam’s favorite targets and he played a huge role in leading the Panthers to the best record in the NFL last season.
1. Rob Gronkowski
Did you really expect anyone else in this spot? Rob Gronkowski, also known as “Gronk”, is by far the best tight end in the league. He is a super bowl champion, 4 time pro bowler, and a 4 time first team all pro. With over 5,500 yards, almost 400 receptions, and 65 touchdown receptions in his career at the young age of 27, Gronk is surely on his way to the hall of fame and has the potential to become the greatest tight end of all time. To go along with these incredible stats, Gronk is also one of the league’s best blocking tight ends, which only makes him more dangerous. He is a mismatch nightmare for defenders and he should be for years to come.
Let me know your thoughts on this list!