For the next couple of months, I will be breaking down the top 5 players at every position on offense and defense heading into 2018. This week I’ll be sharing my list of the top 5 NFL TEs.
- Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
Some might say Gronk has lost a step or two due to the vast amount of injuries he’s accumulated in his career, but he is still the most dominate tight end in the NFL when he plays. In his 14 starts last season, Gronk was able to put up 1,084 receiving yards and eight touchdowns on 69 receptions. With New England QB Tom Brady still going strong at age 40 Gronk should have plenty of opportunities to put up monster numbers next season.
- Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
Kelce has been a force for the Chiefs the past two seasons and has firmly cemented himself as a elite TE. After playing with game manager QB Alex Smith for most of his career it will be interesting to see how Kelce plays with new Chiefs starting QB Patrick Mahomes. Kelce has proven himself to have tremendous after the catch ability, and it will be exciting to see if he gets more downfield opportunities in 2018.
- Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
Ertz may not have the standout numbers of some of the other guys on this list but the Eagles know how much value he brings to the team. Ertz served as QB Carson Wentz’s favorite redzone target for most of the season, catching five touchdowns in four games from weeks five to eight. I expect Wentz to come back strong after tearing his acl last season, which should allow Ertz to build off his strong 2017 campaign.
- Jimmy Graham, Green Bay Packers
If you listen to the “Goal to Go” podcast you’ll know I’m not the biggest fan of Graham at this stage in his career. That being said, there’s no denying the potential for greatness his pairing with QB Aaron Rodgers presents. Rodgers is still the most talented QB in the NFL, and Graham proved last season he can still be an effective redzone target. It would be shocking if the duo doesn’t put up double digit touchdown figures next season.
- Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
I’ve said it many times before, Walker is the most underrated tight end in the NFL. He doesn’t possess the top end athletic ability of the other elite TE’s in the NFL, but he’s very at everything the tight end position requires. Walker has had no fewer then 60 receptions every season since joining the Titans five seasons ago, and he’s put up at least 800 receiving yards each of the last four seasons. Tennessee QB Marcus Mariota has had an up and down NFL career, but he’s always been comfortable targeting his security blanket Walker.