No other position group in the NFL had a better decade than tight end and these 10 (with all due apologies to Zach Miller and Chris Cooley) give current defensive coordinators the biggest fits. Finley's athleticism is off the charts and his progress has been steady. After taking over the starting job in 2009, Finley's vertical leaping ability and knack for finding space led to a breakout year. He should just get better, working with Cards All-Pro receiver Larry Fitzgerald over the summer. (Send comments to email@example.com)
2 of 10John Biever/SI
Prior to going down with a knee injury in Week 8, Daniels was on pace for more catches and more touchdowns than All Pro wideout Andre Johnson. The Texans offense should be one of the most fun to watch in 2010. He would rank higher if not for the balky knee, but expect Daniels to be roaming wide open down the middle.
3 of 10Gary Bogdon/SI
Kellen Winslow Jr.
Despite offseason arthroscopic knee surgery and some wondering if a frontal lobotomy might have been more appropriate for this noted head case, his talent is unquestioned. A healthy Winslow frightens any team against which he lines up. And his numbers the past four years stack up against any tight end in the league.
4 of 10Rich Gabrielson/Icon SMI
Buddy Ryan would not love him, because all he does is score touchdowns. Actually, he does much more than that, but Shianchoe's prowess in the red zone separates him from many. He had a relatively pedestrian 56 catches and 35-yard per-game average in 2009, but 11 catches were for TDs.
5 of 10Al Tielemans/SI
Would it surprise you to know Celek had the second-highest per-catch average in 2009 among all tight ends with at least 50 catches? He may not be the best blocker, but gets free downfield, has trusty hands, protects the ball and gets yards after the catch. New Eagles QB Kevin Kolb loves going to him, too.
6 of 10John Iacono/SI
A first-ballot Hall of Famer who only continues to produce and produce big. At 34, Gonzalez is coming off his seventh consecutive season of at least 70 -catches and 800 yards in receptions. The argument easily could be made he deserves to be No. 1 or No. 2 in this ranking, but he is 34 and the explosiveness and leaping ability have slipped ever so slightly.
7 of 10Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
He's the whole package now that he has matured and seemingly embraced his role as a leader. No linebacker can keep up with him. No safety wants a piece of him. And no defensive end is safe if he locks up on run-blocking. All he has to do is show that 2009's 13-touchdown, 965-yard effort was no fluke.
8 of 10Al Tielemans/SI
Like Davis, he can block and split the seam and run with the best of them. Witten's TD numbers were down in '09, but he remains Tony Romo's favorite target. Still, you have to believe Romo will look more to super-freakish athlete Martellus Bennett more often.
9 of 10John W. McDonough/SI
Go ahead and pencil in Gates for 800 catches, 1,000 yards and 8-10 touchdowns for 2010 and don't worry about it. He's automatic. He also plays for a team that yet again has legitimate Super Bowl aspirations and enough weapons to keep the middle of the field open for him.
10 of 10Al Tielemans/SI
He can go inside, outside, short or long. Oh, yeah. The guy throwing him the ball isn't bad, either. Sure, Peyton Manning still has Reggie Wayne, Austin Collie, Pierre Garcon, with Anthony Gonzalez returning, as targets. But that only makes matching up with Clark all the more difficult. (Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org)
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