Pre-Season Ranks, Tight Ends
I continue my pre-season ranks today with a look at the most curious position, Tight End.
Top 25 Tight Ends:
1. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
2. Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins
3. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
4. Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals
5. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
6. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
7. Gary Barnidge, Cleveland Browns
8. LaDarius Green, Pittsburgh Steelers
9. Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars
10. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
11. Zach Miller, Chicago Bears
12. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers
13. Coby Fleener, New Orleans Saints
14. Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions
15. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
16. Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks
17. Vance McDonald, San Francisco 49ers
18. Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts
19. Clive Wafford, Oakland Raiders
20. Will Tye, New York Giants
21. Jeff Heuerman, Denver Broncos
22. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
23. Jordan Cameron, Miami Dolphins
24. Benjamin Watson, Baltimore Ravens
25. Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills
* The top three are easy. Gronk, Reed and Olsen stand out from the rest. Then it becomes a bit of a guessing game. Last year Walker was a sleeper, but he feels like a safe bet for the top five.
* I have no confidence about tight ends beyond the top seven. There is a drop off that feels like it-or-miss. I based the rankings on past consistency and the potential role. I like the talent and potential of Green, Thomas, and Ertz.
* Many people see Fleener as a no doubt top 10 tight end. I don't. I'm not sold on him as a talent or his role with the Saints.
* It would have been unthinkable for Jimmy Graham to be ranked 16 two years ago. Now, it might be optimistic. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I think he comes back this year and contributes. Fingers crossed.
* Young guns are rising. Wafford, Tye, and Heuerman all have a chance to make a statement, and I think all will. Wafford and Tye looked strong last year, and I'm a big believer in the second year tight end in Denver who will, hopefully, finally get on the field this season.