Editor's note: This is the seventh installment in Bleacher Report's NFL 1000 for the 2013 season. This signature series runs through April 24, with NFL Draft Lead Writer Matt Miller ranking the best players at every position. You can read more about the series in this introductory article. See the NFL 1000 page for more rankings.
The 2013 season saw one of the best tight ends struggle to stay healthy and another head to prison. Other mainstays were challenged by up-and-comers.
With the season in the books, we asked ourselves, “Who was the best tight end this year?”
That’s what the NFL 1000 aims to identify. Throw out the narratives and the fantasy football stats and dig into the film. Then we’ll see who comes out on top.
The B/R 1000 metric is based on scouting each player and grading the key criteria for each position. The criteria are weighted according to importance, on a 100-point scale.
Potential is not taken into consideration. Nor are career accomplishments.
Tight ends are judged on hands (40 points), blocking (10), route running (30), speed (20) and all of the technique, athletic ability and football intelligence needed to play the position.
In the case of ties, our team asked, "Which player would I rather have on my team?" and set the rankings accordingly.
Subjective? Yes. But ties are no fun.
Each player was scouted by me and a team of experienced evaluators, with these key criteria in mind. The following scouting reports and grades are the work of months of film study from our team.
All statistics from Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
Players' heights, weights and seasons from NFL.com.