Tight ends were once nothing more than overgrown tackles who would block hard on running and passing plays, and would occasionally become a receiver of last resort.
Mike Ditka and John Mackey changed that. Both were the kind of athletes who could not only catch the ball on third down, they could stretch the field with big-play ability.
Since the mid-1960s, tight ends have changed dramatically. While most teams still like a tight end that can block, the ability to play a key role in the passing game has proven vital to most championship teams.
Here's a look at the tight ends who have proven to be the biggest NFL steals.