Top 10 NFL Tight Ends of All Time
Parlayed his 378 career catches and 13.8 average into a Hall of Fame berth, and was one of game’s best tight ends in the 1970-80s in both Oakland and Houston.
#9: Rob Gronkowski
Despite playing well less than six full seasons, he has notched a mind-boggling 63 touchdown receptions in 76 career games. One of the most challenging matchup problems ever for NFL defenders.
#8: Jason Witten
Big, athletic and wildly durable, Witten and his soft hands have been the heart of the Cowboys’ passing offense for 13 seasons.
#7: Shannon Sharpe
A force in the postseason, Sharpe was on three Super Bowl-winning teams and was one of the game’s prototypical receiving tight ends.
#6: Kellen Winslow
Serving essentially as an extra wide receiver in San Diego’s Air Coryell’s offense, Winslow was extremely athletic and posted three 1,000-yard seasons.
#5: Ozzie Newsome
Never missed a game in 13 seasons and helped re-define the position as an offensive staple of the modern game, earning him Hall of Fame recognition.
#4: Antonio Gates
A model red-zone threat, Gates has 103 career touchdown catches and 10,435 yards on 827 catches.
#3: Mike Ditka
A true pioneer at tight end, he transformed what had been largely a blocking role into an offensive position. Was the first tight end inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
#2: John Mackey
Averaged a receiver-like 15.8 yards per catch and posed a deep threat well before tight ends were ever used to stretch the field.
#1: Tony Gonzalez
Ranks second in receptions (1,325) and fifth in receiving yardage (15,127) in NFL history and his athleticism and production were unparalleled.