Tight ends: The sleepers, busts and top picks to watch
August 05, 2008
Alge CrumplerTitans: The former Falcon needed a fresh start as badly as Vince Young needed this soft-handed receiver.
Tony SchefflerBroncos: His 49 catches and five TDs were the most for a Denver tight end since Shannon Sharpe in 2003.
Zach Miller Raiders: The addition of WR Javon Walker will open up underneath routes for the sure-handed second-year man.
L.J. SmithEagles: The oft-injured vet is a free agent in '09, so Philly will want to give its other options a look.
Desmond ClarkBears: With TE Greg Olsen stepping up as the top receiver, this veteran will recede into the background.
Chris BakerJets: Once seen as a promising pass catcher, he'll be relegated to blocking duties when rookie Dustin Keller settles in.
Ben UtechtBengals: Cincinnati's new starter caught 68 balls over the last two seasons as a reserve in Indianapolis.
Leonard PopeCardinals: Despite amassing only 23 catches in his second season, he established himself as a red-zone target with five touchdowns in 13 games.
Anthony Fasano Dolphins: Jason Witten's ex-caddie will get more opportunity in his new home to display the pass-catching skills he showed at Notre Dame.
1. Jason Witten, Cowboys: He had some big-time individual games last year (15 receptions one game, five or more receptions in 10 games) and is in an offense that will feature him more in 2008. 2. Antonio Gates, Chargers: Gates was bothered by a back injury during the second half of last season and then suffered a toe injury in the playoffs that required off-season surgery, but he still finished with 75 catches for 984 yards and nine TDs.3. Kellen Winslow, Browns: If he can remain healthy this year -- never a given with Winslow -- he is primed to again top 80 catches and 1,000 yards for 6-7 TDs.4. Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs: He's dropping in preseason drafts because Kansas City's QB situation is so bad, but he's still talented enough to deliver a season of 80-plus catches, 900 yards and 5-6 TDs.5. Chris Cooley, Redskins: He caught TD passes in four of his first five games last year, but was shut out during his last six games. Still, he's a consistent target for the Redskins, who like to look for their tight ends.
-- Compiled by SI Staff
Click here for our entire Top 30 Tight Ends rankings.
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