Tight Ends

July 24, 2005

Because there are so few high-scoring tight ends, picking Antonio Gates or Tony Gonzalez in the third or fourth round gives you a big advantage over someone who selects a wide receiver with basically the same statistics. Sleepers abound here (see Gates and Jason Witten last season), so seriously consider drafting a backup. That way, if he pans out, you can trade one of your tight ends for help at another position.

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    YARDS PER GAME TDS
1. Antonio Gates, Chargers 64.3 13
2. Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs 78.6 7
3. Alge Crumpler, Falcons 55.3 6
4. Jason Witten, Cowboys Team-high 87 catches; one yard short of most receiving yards 61.2 6
5. Dallas Clark, Colts 28.2 5
6. Ben Watson, Patriots 16.0 0
7. Chris Cooley, Redskins 19.6 6
8. Bubba Franks, Packers 22.6 7
9. Jermaine Wiggins, Vikings Among the best short-yardage receivers; has size, power to shed would-be tacklers 50.4 4
10. Jeremy Shockey, Giants 44.4 6
11. L.J. Smith, Eagles 23.6 5
12. Randy McMichael, Dolphins 49.4 4
13. Ben Troupe, Titans 23.5 1
14. Todd Heap, Ravens 50.5 3
15. Jeb Putzier, Broncos 35.8 2
16. Steve Heiden, Browns Beneficiary of Kellen Winslow's injuries; had career high in TDs last season 22.1 5
17. Daniel Graham, Patriots 26.0 7
18. Heath Miller, Steelers* 45.1 5
19. Matt Schobel, Bengals 12.6 4
20. Jim Kleinsasser, Vikings 24.0 0
21. Erron Kinney, Titans 21.4 3
22. Doug Jolley, Jets 19.6 2
23. Eric Johnson, 49ers Receiving duties diminish in Niners' new run-oriented offense 51.6 2
24. Jerramy Stevens, Seahawks 21.8 3
25. Marcus Pollard, Lions 23.8 6
26. Mark Campbell, Bills 16.9 5
27. Teyo Johnson, Raiders 16.4 2
28. Brandon Manumaleuna, Rams Rarely registers on Marc Bulger's radar in high-powered Rams offense 10.9 1
29. Anthony Becht, Bucs 6.2 1
30. Shad Meier, Saints 9.1 2
31. Alex Smith, Bucs* 64.2 3
32. Billy Miller, Texans 11.1 1
*Rookie (college stats)

SPOTLIGHT

Alge Crumpler

As quarterback Michael Vick continues to work through his growing pains in the Falcons' West Coast offense, he is fortunate to have this 6'2", 262-pound beast of a tight end as a security blanket. Coming off a career-best season in which he caught 48 passes for 774 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games, the physical yet agile Crumpler looms as an even more enticing target in 2005. He has sure hands, runs crisp routes and has good speed for someone his size. Says Atlanta free safety Keion Carpenter, who missed the 2004 season with a torn ACL in his right knee, "I'm gunning for the Pro Bowl, and Alge's the guy who's going to get me there, because facing him every day in practice is going to be a whole lot harder than anything else I have to deal with on game day. The guy is so good, it's just not fair."

COLOR PHOTOAL TIELEMANS

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)