We all know who the top tight ends are. While the order may vary slightly, we all also know the next tier for the most part. What comes after the top 10, however? Who has the most upside? Who should we pass on? Let’s take a look at how the rankings currently stack up:
- Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots
- Jimmy Graham – New Orleans Saints
- Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys
- Aaron Hernandez – New England Patriots
- Jermichael Finley – Green Bay Packers
- Vernon Davis – San Francisco 49ers
- Antonio Gates – San Diego Chargers
- Brandon Pettigrew – Detroit Lions
- Fred Davis – Washington Redskins
- Tony Gonzalez – Atlanta Falcons
- Jacob Tamme – Denver Broncos
- Brent Celek – Philadelphia Eagles
- Jared Cook – Tennessee Titans
- Jermaine Gresham – Cincinnati Bengals
- Owen Daniels – Houston Texans
- Colby Fleener – Indianapolis Colts
- Dustin Keller – New York Jets
- Kellen Winslow – Seattle Seahawks
- Martelius Bennett – New York Giants
- Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings
- Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers
- Tony Moeaki – Kansas City Chiefs
- Ed Dickson – Baltimore Ravens
- Heath Miller – Pittsburgh Steelers
- Kellen Davis – Chicago Bears
- As I discussed here, I wouldn’t undervalue the consistent play of Jason Witten. With the Cowboys seemingly primed to go with two main receivers (having failed to replace Laurent Robinson), Witten could easily be looked to in order to fill the void. Throw in more hamstring issues for Miles Austin and Witten could be primed for a career year. I’d be more than willing to take him as the third tight end off the board.
- Colby Fleener is a bit of a risk, but he already has a rapport with Andrew Luck thanks to their time at Stanford and easily could be his safety valve. That should make for a nice rookie campaign.
- I know there have already been issues with Martelius Bennett, especially with him reporting to camp significantly over weight. However, the Giants always tend to find tight ends and get the most out of them. First it was Kevin Boss, than it was Jake Ballard.
The thing is that Bennett probably has more talent than either of them and now will get a chance to have Eli Manning setting him up to make plays. Don’t be surprised if Bennett emerges as a viable option before long.
- Kellen Winslow moves from Tampa Bay to Seattle, but with Matt Flynn likely set to take over as the starting quarterback that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Winslow has long been a productive tight end with 730-plus yards in five of the past six seasons, and he could become an even bigger red zone threat (he’s never had more than five in a season). He’s not an ideal TE1, but as a reserve option with upside there is a lot to like.
Make sure to check out our 2012 fantasy football rankings: