NFL The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time  

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List Rules 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!
list ordered by

1
2,669 1,563
Tony Gonzalez is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Tony Gonzalez California Golden Bears football, Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs

2
3,603 1,849
Rob Gronkowski is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Rob Gronkowski Arizona Wildcats football, New England Patriots

3
2,087 1,219
Antonio Gates is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Antonio Gates San Diego Chargers

4
1,865 1,009
Shannon Sharpe is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Shannon Sharpe Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens, Savannah State Tigers football

5
2,363 1,164
Jason Witten is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Jason Witten Tennessee Volunteers football, Dallas Cowboys

6
1,500 948
Mike Ditka is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Mike Ditka Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Panthers football, Philadelphia Eagles

7
1,439 782
Kellen Winslow is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Kellen Winslow Missouri Tigers football, San Diego Chargers

8
939 678
Ozzie Newsome is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Ozzie Newsome Cleveland Browns

9
823 597
Dave Casper is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

10
886 642
John Mackey is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
John Mackey Baltimore Colts, Syracuse Orange football, San Diego Chargers

11
1,178 855
Jimmy Graham is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
AhmadPoloswaggoutConteh added Jimmy Graham New Orleans Saints

12
731 399
Greg Olsen is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Greg Olsen Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers, Miami Hurricanes football

13
630 588
Jay Novacek is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Jay Novacek Phoenix Cardinals, Wyoming Cowboys football, Dallas Cowboys

14
518 446
Ben Coates is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

16 Movie "In Jokes" You Probably Didn't Notice

15
545 460
Mark Bavaro is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Mark Bavaro Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants

16
531 377
Vernon Davis is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Vernon Davis Maryland Terrapins football, San Francisco 49ers

17
521 472
Dallas Clark is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Dallas Clark Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens

18
442 481
Todd Christensen is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

19
447 293
Heath Miller is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Heath Miller Pittsburgh Steelers

20
268 109
Travis Kelce is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Travis Kelce Cincinnati Bearcats football, Kansas City Chiefs

21
428 459
Jeremy Shockey is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Jeremy Shockey New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, Miami Hurricanes football

The Best Wide Receivers of All Time

22
315 258
Julius Thomas is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
FrankMades added Julius Thomas Denver Broncos

23
247 390
Jackie Smith is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Jackie Smith St. Louis Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys

24
253 355
Keith Jackson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

25
180 136
Martellus Bennett is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
slaft added Martellus Bennett Texas A&M Aggies football, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys

26
241 381
Brent Jones is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Brent Jones San Francisco 49ers

27
156 88
Delanie Walker is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Esavi added Delanie Walker San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans

28
232 345
Todd Heap is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Todd Heap Arizona Cardinals, Arizona State Sun Devils football, Baltimore Ravens

The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

29
206 347
Charlie Sanders is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

30
88 71
Benjamin Watson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Benjamin Watson New Orleans Saints, Georgia Bulldogs football team, New England Patriots

31
170 175
Russ Francis is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
RobSpencer added Russ Francis

32
169 177
Owen Daniels is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Owen Daniels Houston Texans

33
120 142
Frank Wycheck is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
slaft added Frank Wycheck

34
93 53
Jordan Reed is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
carmela-launi added Jordan Reed Washington Redskins, Florida Gators football

35
154 231
Billy Joe DuPree is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

The Grossest Personal Habits

36
140 278
Wesley Walls is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

37
147 281
Jerry Smith is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

38
93 49
Kyle Rudolph is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Kenneth Lehrer added Kyle Rudolph Notre Dame Fighting Irish football, Minnesota Vikings

39
132 261
Raymond Chester is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

40
84 133
Alge Crumpler is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
chile6880 added Alge Crumpler Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots

41
77 67
Tyler Eifert is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
himow added Tyler Eifert

42
80 105
Brent Celek is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
slaft added Brent Celek Cincinnati Bearcats football, Philadelphia Eagles

Memes to Express Why Philadelphia Eagles Fans Are The Worst

43
83 128
Chris Cooley is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
slaft added Chris Cooley Washington Redskins, Utah State Aggies football

44
98 257
Riley Odoms is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

45
52 95
Billy Cannon is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
slaft added Billy Cannon

46
87 198
Steve Jordan is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
JBK1 added Steve Jordan

47
34 101
Charle Young is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
slaft added Charle Young

48
42 93
Mickey Shuler is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
slaft added Mickey Shuler Oakland Raiders

49
32 46
Dennis Pitta is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
1478703840471 added Dennis Pitta Baltimore Ravens, BYU Cougars football

50
56 68
Mark Chmura is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Esavi added Mark Chmura Green Bay Packers, Boston College Eagles football