The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time Football Players (American)
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12  reranks 4,148 votes 724 voters 21,615 views more info

The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

List Criteria: Only NFL tight ends. No wide receivers or college players

The greatest tight ends of all time are those dynamic National Football League players who have played the position better than anyone else. The tight end position is a unique one as it has evolved from a blocking player to one that focuses more on receptions meaning each of these best NFL tight ends dominated the role as it was played during their prime.

There is a reason that the Mackey Award is given out each year to the top tight end in college football. That's because John Mackey is easily the best tight end ever to play football. The now Pro Football Hall of Fame member dominated the position with the Baltimore Colts and San Diego Chargers and made the position one to recognize.

Following in Mackey's footsteps are dozens of other talented tight ends such as Tony Gonzalez, the first tight end to catch over 1,000 passes, Kellen Winslow Sr. who dazzled at tight end for the San Diego Chargers, the great Mike Ditka, who before coaching or broadcasting averaged 19.2 yards per catch and notched 12 touchdowns as a rookie and Shannon Sharpe, who topped an amazing 10,000 yards over his career in Denver and Baltimore.

But the top tight ends in the NFL don't stop there. Young stars have taken the offensive position to an entire new level and fascinated fans everywhere along the way. Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots is a perfect example of that as he has become the envy of other teams, fans and players with his talent.

Who do you think played the best at tight end of all time? Vote for your favorites, add any not listed or re-rank this list your way all below! Want more football rankings? Check out the greatest linebackers of all time and the greatest NFL punters of all time too!
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 12 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    Up 268
    Down 115

    the people's #1
    Tony Gonzalez

    1976 More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 157
    Down 94
    1968 More
    93
  3. 3
    Up 146
    Down 81
    1957 More
    91
  4. 4
    Up 105
    Down 78

    ranked high on reranks
    John Mackey

    1941 More
    90
  5. 5
    Up 159
    Down 102

    most listed
    Antonio Gates

    1980 More
    89
  6. 6
    Up 143
    Down 78
    1939 More
    88
  7. 7
    Up 92
    Down 75
    1956 More
    84
  8. 8
    Up 203
    Down 122

    ranked low on reranks
    Jason Witten

    1982 More
    82
  9. 9
    Up 86
    Down 71
    1951 More
    81
  10. 10
    Up 55
    Down 71

    ranked high on reranks
    Todd Christensen

    1956 More
    73
  11. 11
    Up 82
    Down 71
    1962 More
    70
  12. 12
    Up 111
    Down 97
    1989 More
    68
  13. 13
    Up 38
    Down 57
    1963 More
    65
  14. 14
    Up 37
    Down 62
    1940 More
    65
  15. 15
    Up 47
    Down 52
    1969 More
    64
  16. 16
    Up 57
    Down 64
    1963 More
    63
  17. 17
    Up 53
    Down 81
    1979 More
    60
  18. 18
    Up 25
    Down 59

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Charlie Sanders

    1946 More
    59
  19. 19
    Up 30
    Down 44
    1965 More
    59
  20. 20
    Up 38
    Down 55
    1980 More
    54
  21. 21
    Up 27
    Down 40
    1943 More
    52
  22. 22
    Up 79
    Down 37
    1986 More
    51
    added by: AhmadPoloswaggoutConteh
  23. 23
    Up 22
    Down 41
    1948 More
    51
  24. 24
    Up 26
    Down 45
    1980 More
    49
  25. 25
    Up 23
    Down 35
    1966 More
    48
  26. 26
    Up 17
    Down 44
    1950 More
    45
  27. 27
    Up 10
    Down 39
    1948 More
    35
  28. 28
    Up 21
    Down 25

    ranked low on reranks
    Billy Joe DuPree

    1950 More
    32
  29. 29
    Up 10
    Down 36
    1945 More
    26
    added by: beachbumdan
  30. 30
    Up 9
    Down 39
    No image
    1948 More
    24
    added by: JBK1
  31. 31
    Up 12
    Down 35
    1961 More
    23
    added by: JBK1
  32. 32 +

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