NFL The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
74.2k votes 12.2k voters 173.1k views 100 items

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
3,586 2,272
Tony Gonzalez is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs

2
4,828 2,775
Rob Gronkowski is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
New England Patriots

3
2,753 1,483
Shannon Sharpe is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens

4
2,960 1,707
Antonio Gates is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
San Diego Chargers

5
3,133 1,560
Jason Witten is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Dallas Cowboys

6
1,992 1,031
Kellen Winslow is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
San Diego Chargers

7
1,944 1,234
Mike Ditka is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys

8
1,309 929
Ozzie Newsome is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Cleveland Browns

9
1,128 859
John Mackey is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Baltimore Colts, San Diego Chargers

10
1,046 828
Dave Casper is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Oakland Raiders, Houston Oilers, Minnesota Vikings

11
1,477 1,179
Jimmy Graham is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
AhmadPoloswaggoutConteh added New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers

12
1,104 624
Greg Olsen is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers

13
662 263
Travis Kelce is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Kansas City Chiefs

14
853 786
Jay Novacek is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Phoenix Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys

15
729 634
Dallas Clark is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens

16
731 630
Mark Bavaro is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants

17
732 570
Vernon Davis is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
San Francisco 49ers

18
658 611
Ben Coates is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens

19
577 617
Todd Christensen is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Oakland / Los Angeles Raiders

20
632 430
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Pittsburgh Steelers

21
599 616
Jeremy Shockey is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, New York Giants

22
343 498
Jackie Smith is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
St. Louis Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys

23
340 458
Keith Jackson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers

24
284 201
Delanie Walker is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Esavi added San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans

25
316 474
Brent Jones is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
San Francisco 49ers