In turning in their utterly ridiculous 2011 seasons, Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham have undoubtedly spearheaded a new era for tight ends in the National Football League.
Teams are turning their attention toward playmaking tight ends as the emphasis on run blocking and pass protection continues to dwindle.
Sure, these guys are still expected to provide some offensive aid outside of pass catching. But the idea of grooming a Gronk or Graham should be quite appealing for many NFL franchises
So who's the next Gronk? Who's the next Graham?
Who will be the next big-time tight end to burst onto the scene?
Here are the top five candidates primed for breakout seasons in 2012.