Delanie Walker Calls Himself 'The Best Tight End in the League in All Phases'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 2, 2018

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 3:  Delanie Walker #82 of the Tennessee Titans on the sidelines during a game against the Houston Texans at Nissan Stadium on December 3, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee.  The Titans defeated the Texans 23-14.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker said he's the NFL's most complete player at the position.

On Friday, Jason Wolf of the Tennessean provided comments from the 33-year-old playmaker about the well-rounded skill set he's fine-tuned throughout his career.

"Honestly, I feel like I'm the best tight end in the league in all phases," Walker said. "Blocking, run-blocking, catching the ball, breaking tackles, stuff like that. At the end of the day, if you don't feel like that, you shouldn't be in the league."

Walker failed to make much of an offensive impact across seven years with the San Francisco 49ers, who selected him in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL draft.

He didn't record more than 29 catches in any season with the Niners and notched just eight touchdowns in 99 games.

Everything changed after he joined the Titans as a free agent in 2013.

Walker has tallied at least 60 receptions in each of his five campaigns in Tennessee. That includes a career-best season in 2015 when he finished with 94 grabs for 1,088 yards and six scores.

While increased opportunities played a key role in his rise to prominence, Walker said he's also made a concerted effort to consistently develop new skills, per Wolf.

"Every year I try something new," he said. "I don't eat pork, I don't drink alcohol. That's been helping me, keeping me fit and in shape. Just go out here and I try to bust my butt every day in the weight room, on the field, and it's tended to work, so I'm going to stick to that regimen."

It's hard to unequivocally declare him the best tight end in the NFL with guys such as Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce around, but he's forced his way into the conversation. He's earned three straight Pro Bowl selections, and Pro Football Focus graded him as the league's No. 4 tight end in 2017.

The good news for the Titans is he's shown no signs of slowing down as he enters his mid-30s.