The tight end position in the NFL has seen a spike in powerfully built, big, athletic bodies that are becoming more and more difficult to defend.
The ability NFL teams have to transform a basketball power forward like Tony Gonzalez or Antonio Gates into a tight end creates mismatches that most secondary personnel and linebackers have trouble stopping.
In the 2011 NFL season, there were a total of five tight ends that led their respective teams in receiving yards. They were: Jason Witten (Dallas), Owen Daniels (Houston), Marcedes Lewis (Jax), Jimmy Graham (New Orleans) and Dustin Keller (New York Jets). A sixth tight end, Fred Davis (Washington), was leading his team in receiving yards until he was suspended for the final four games of the 2011 season.
In today's article we are seeking the 10 greatest tight ends in the history of the NFL. We are looking for players that have made an impact on the NFL for a long time, so even though there is no denying the strong impact that Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham are making on the game, neither one has withstood the test of time yet to be considered for the best in history.
We are looking for tight ends that are in the Hall of Fame or have been voted the best tight end for a specific decade in NFL history. Since there are more than 10 candidates worthy of consideration, we have also come up with an honorable mention list to acknowledge those that had a strong career, but ultimately fell short of our top-10 list.