Top Ten Tight Ends Of All Time in the NFL

By Raphael Haynes
January 15, 2013 4:05 pm
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In today's game the tight end position is more of a skill position and usually requires them to be fast, have size and great hands.

Guys like Rob Gronkowski, Jermichael Finley, and Jimmy Graham are your prototype guys for this position. They have been known to create mismatches for the opponent which was far different from the past.

In the past your average tight end had to block first then it was an added plus if he could catch.

They didn't get drafted high out of college which made it unpopular to be a tight end. It was rare to see tight ends be your best offensive weapon in the past but if they were, blocking still was a main priority.

Now how do we judge the top 10?

Mr. Controversy's top 10 consist of: Leaving your mark on the game, how relevant you were during the time you played, your blocking skills, and of course numbers. The tricky part is some players played when teams didn't pass much, and will be judge by their numbers back then. If they are up to par with today's stats or he was elite back then, that may get him on the list.

Let's get it!!

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By Raphael Haynes
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Previous Comments (13)

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20 months ago
Tough calls you had to make. Mark Bavaro would make my top 10, and Dave Casper is a favorite of mine as well. Good article.
20 months ago

Mike, this was harder than I thought. So many great articles but the stats and their place in history was over rode, if I can say that, the others. Thanks for reading my article.
20 months ago

if so who would you take out then Mike?
20 months ago
Raphael,

I like your selection of the top 10 TE of alltime and having a player like Retzlaff on this list tells me that you did your research. Overall I would probably have had most of the same TE's on my list as well, with the acception of possibly Bavaro and Casper (Same as Mike Lietz) replacing Ditka and Retzlaff. Having Winslow at #6 was a bit high as he really started the multi dimenionsal style as a TE. Overall, this is a great list and it really brings to light how many great TE's there really was. Great read.
20 months ago

Thanks Michael. It was a hard list to come up with! I'm shocked you would leave out Dikta just because he was the first receiving tight end basically to catch over a 1000 yards. But I think I kept Bavaro out because he really wasn't that great tight end throughout his career. His stats fell in the middle of the pack. He just had amazing plays. Casper I wanted on the list but it was the same case for him also. Again thanks for reading my article.
20 months ago
Very interesting discussion, I may have flip flopped some of the spots on the list but as a whole pretty good people mentioned. I tink Todd Christensen. He too was a multiple 90+ catch season guy; 1st TE in history of NFL to do it and he led the league in receiving twice (period, not just TE's). He converted to TE from fullback in his 3rd season, and only played 8 more seasons. He helped Raiders to a couple of rings, and made his mark over a short period of time. GT
20 months ago

Yeah I almost put him on the list. I was amazed at his stats man. I just had to go with who I had but I really wanted to put Jackie Smith higher than what he was. He was awesome blocking and receiving with the highest yards per catch with 16.5.
20 months ago
NIce list, I wouldn't replace any, but honorable mention: Russ Francis was a dependable TE for New England and San Fran. He had 5262 receiving yards and 40 TDs and was a great blocker. He reportedly is the only TE to receive from 3 different WRs and also h a 100% completion percentage throwing the ball (1 for 1). He was the first TE with 3 4th down conversions and also was the Patriot's leading receiver in 1978. He went to 3 straight pro bowls (77-79) and won a super bowl with the 49ers in 84.
20 months ago

Yeah He was close to making it also. This was really a hard list to put together and then rank them. It was harder than I thought it would be. Thanks!
20 months ago
I think u may have to add Vernon Davis to this list somewhere By the end of his career
20 months ago

Yeah we will see but the more I studied the tight ends you had a lot do well but tail off toward the middle of their career.
20 months ago
Good article. Wondered where you would rank Jay Novacek and his three Super Bowl rings?
20 months ago

Novacek stats weren't as good as I thought. I think Emmitt and Irving kind of hurt his stats. I remember him when he played with the Cardinals Phoenix. There were a lot of tight ends that just missed this list. So I say Jay should be 15-16. Thanks for reading my article.what do you think?

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