The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

33k votes 5.7k voters 121k views 78 items tags f p @

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 and famous 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, racking up crazy stats and scoring touchdowns left and right. 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!
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
  • 54 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
Z
G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 1,786
    - 962

    the people's #1
    California Golden Bears football, Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs

    ;
  2. 2
    + 2,301
    - 985

    ranked low on reranks
    Arizona Wildcats football, New England Patriots

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,378
    - 762

    most listed
    San Diego Chargers

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,209
    - 606


    Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens, Savannah State Tigers football

    ;
  5. 5
    + 1,071
    - 606


    Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Panthers football, Philadelphia Eagles

    ;
  6. 6
    + 1,510
    - 756


    Tennessee Volunteers football, Dallas Cowboys

    ;
  7. 7
    + 962
    - 546


    Missouri Tigers football, San Diego Chargers

    ;
  8. 8
    + 598
    - 442


    Cleveland Browns

    ;
  9. 9
    + 815
    - 500

    added by AhmadPoloswaggoutConteh
    New Orleans Saints

    ;
  10. 10
    + 631
    - 452


    Baltimore Colts, Syracuse Orange football, San Diego Chargers

    ;
  11. 11
    + 575
    - 405


    ;
  12. 12
    + 435
    - 407

    often listed
    Phoenix Cardinals, Wyoming Cowboys football, Dallas Cowboys

    ;
  13. 13
    + 409
    - 211


    Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers, Miami Hurricanes football

    ;
  14. 14
    + 371
    - 324


    Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants

    ;
  15. 15
    + 349
    - 314


    ;
  16. 16
    + 343
    - 203

    ranked low on reranks
    Maryland Terrapins football, San Francisco 49ers

    ;
  17. 17
    + 323
    - 359


    ;
  18. 18
    + 352
    - 360


    Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens

    ;
  19. 19
    + 285
    - 162

    ranked low on reranks
    Pittsburgh Steelers

    ;
  20. 20
    + 275
    - 329


    New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, Miami Hurricanes football

    ;
  21. 21
    + 179
    - 283


    St. Louis Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys

    ;
  22. 22
    + 181
    - 257


    ;
  23. 23
    + 171
    - 288


    San Francisco 49ers

    ;
  24. 24
    + 157
    - 253


    ;
  25. 25
    + 179
    - 245


    Arizona Cardinals, Arizona State Sun Devils football, Baltimore Ravens

    ;
  26. 26
    + 207
    - 134

    ranked low on reranks & added by FrankMades
    Denver Broncos

    ;
  27. 27
    + 109
    - 211


    ;
  28. 28
    + 113
    - 107

    ranked low on reranks & added by RobSpencer

    ;
  29. 29
    + 115
    - 220


    ;
  30. 30
    + 108
    - 166


    ;
  31. 31
    + 102
    - 206

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

    ;
  32. 32
    + 63
    - 75

    added by slaft

    ;
  33. 33
    + 76
    - 201

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

    ;
  34. 34
    + 122
    - 105

    ranked low on reranks
    Houston Texans

    ;
  35. 35
    + 72
    - 42

    ranked low on reranks & added by slaft
    Texas A&M Aggies football, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys

    ;
  36. 36
    + 54
    - 21

    ranked low on reranks & added by Esavi
    San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans

    ;
  37. 37
    + 49
    - 72

    added by chile6880
    Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots

    ;
  38. 38
    + 54
    - 66

    added by slaft
    Washington Redskins, Utah State Aggies football

    ;
  39. 39
    + 37
    - 19


    Cincinnati Bearcats football, Kansas City Chiefs

    ;
  40. 40
    + 70
    - 145

    added by JBK1

    ;
  41. 41
    + 53
    - 172

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

    ;
  42. 42
    + 30
    - 48

    added by slaft

    ;
  43. 43
    + 28
    - 16

    ranked low on reranks
    New Orleans Saints, Georgia Bulldogs football team, New England Patriots ...

    ;
  44. 44
    + 16
    - 52

    added by slaft

    ;
  45. 45
    + 24
    - 48

    added by slaft
    Oakland Raiders

    ;
  46. 46
    + 17
    - 54
    Doug Cosbie is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

    added by slaft

    ;
  47. 47
    + 13
    - 11
    Tyler Eifert is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

    added by himow
    Tyler Eifert

  48. 48
    + 24
    - 26

    added by Esavi
    Green Bay Packers, Boston College Eagles football

    ;
  49. 49
    + 22
    - 34

    added by slaft
    St. Louis Rams, Philadelphia Eagles

    ;
  50. 50
    + 28
    - 25

    added by Kadeebee
    USC Trojans football, Cleveland Browns

    ;
79 +

Something missing? Add it!

L List Options 2 Rerank List B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >