Moving forward with the position that everyone pretends they don’t love, we delve into the Tight Ends. These players are the safety blanket for any Quarterback and contest the middle of the field, knowing the hits are coming. When a team hits at Tight End, they very quickly become the go to guy, with Legends like Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates and Vernon Davis redefining the position.
Having a player who catches from the line and can help with blocking assignments on max protection is a gamechanger. Teams have used Tight Ends in different ways throughout the years, however the trend now seems to be moving towards a pass first style. That does not mean however, that the blocker doesn’t have a role in the modern NFL. Question is, how important is each player to their individual team, we take a look at the way too early top 5 for 2021 and the Rookie impact player.
|Travis Kelce||Travis Kelce|
|Darren Waller||George Kittle|
|T.J Hockenson||Darren Waller|
|George Kittle||Mike Gesicki|
|Mike Gesicki||Mark Andrews|
As with anything, this list is subjective, but if you are following the series, I am usually right, right?
The unquestioned King of the Tight Ends, Kelce finished the season second in receiving yards, out of all players, that includes all Wide Receivers and Running Backs. With his season effort of 1416 yards, he set the single season record for yards for a Tight End. To put this into perspective on the top 10 list of yards per season for a Tight End, Kelce appears three times, including 1st and 3rd. He currently dominates the league as the number one target for All-Pro Patrick Mahomes and that will not change any time soon.
The only man truly keeping pace with Travis Kelce, Kittle only played 8 games last year and still ended the season with 634 yards. Over a full season Kittle should have averaged 1268 yards, which would have put him 9th overall against all Receivers and second of the Tight Ends. Kittle Held the record for most yards in a single season for a Tight End from 2018 and he beat Kelce into second place that year. If he can regain his form, it will be the two of them record chasing all year.
While Kittle and Kelce feel like they are head and shoulders above the rest of the pack, it would be foolish to sleep on Darren Waller. With back to back season over 1000 yards, finishing 10th overall this year, Waller feels like the next big thing. After failing to break 100 yards in his first 3 seasons, Waller is now here to play. Two Tight Ends finished within the top 50 Receivers this year, so it shows you how hard Darren Waller worked.
One of the best of the rest, Mike Gesicki is ready for a breakout season and there are two reasons why. He will be playing with a second year Quarterback who has had a full offseason to prepare, but more importantly he is in a contract year. With the drafting of Hunter Long, there are questions surrounding Gesicki in South Beach, so what better way to get yourself a nice new deal with Miami or elsewhere. Gesicki is reliable and can make the big plays, watch this space.
The big man in Baltimore is in a position to succeed this year if the team realise how important he can be as a plan B. We all know that plan A is the run game, however the Ravens seemed to come unstuck when this plan was stopped. Enter Mark Andrews and the plan B Offense. He is a great blocker and a really good Receiver, given the right service from Lamar he could thrive in the ‘get us out of jail’ roll.
The unicorn is a way too obvious pick here, but he talent is completely undeniable. He immediately becomes the third target in Atlanta, however if a trade market for Julio Jones opens up, he becomes the number 2 man. Last year Calvin Ridley showed he can be the number 1 guy with the Falcons, finishing joint 5th in Receiving yards with 9 Touchdowns. If Jones leaves, he can expect double coverage on every play, which will open up the field for Kyle Pitts to change the game.
Check out the rest of the lists here.