NFL The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
71.5k votes 11.7k voters 170.1k views 101 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
3,458 2,173
Tony Gonzalez is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs

2
4,582 2,672
Rob Gronkowski is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
New England Patriots

3
2,856 1,644
Antonio Gates is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
San Diego Chargers

4
2,631 1,423
Shannon Sharpe is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens

5
3,049 1,518
Jason Witten is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Dallas Cowboys

6
1,930 1,005
Kellen Winslow is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
San Diego Chargers

7
1,883 1,206
Mike Ditka is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys

8
1,263 908
Ozzie Newsome is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Cleveland Browns

9
1,096 840
John Mackey is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Baltimore Colts, San Diego Chargers

10
1,012 806
Dave Casper is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Oakland Raiders, Houston Oilers, Minnesota Vikings

11
1,440 1,138
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
1,051 599
Greg Olsen is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers

13
826 765
Jay Novacek is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Phoenix Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys

14
598 240
Travis Kelce is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Kansas City Chiefs

15
712 607
Mark Bavaro is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants

16
696 616
Dallas Clark is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens

17
707 551
Vernon Davis is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
San Francisco 49ers

18
637 597
Ben Coates is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens

19
558 602
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
609 419
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Pittsburgh Steelers

21
574 596
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
330 445
Keith Jackson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers

23
330 484
Jackie Smith is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
St. Louis Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys

24
267 188
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
304 464
Brent Jones is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
San Francisco 49ers

26
308 433
Todd Heap is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens

27
259 248
Martellus Bennett is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
slaft added Texas A&M Aggies football, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys

28
371 398
Julius Thomas is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
FrankMades added Denver Broncos

29
251 420
Charlie Sanders is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Detroit Lions

30
154 145
Benjamin Watson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns

31
235 241
Russ Francis is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
RobSpencer added New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers

32
185 202
Frank Wycheck is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
slaft added Houston Oilers, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins

33
175 50
Zach Ertz is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Philadelphia Eagles

34
174 120
Kyle Rudolph is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Kenneth Lehrer added Minnesota Vikings

35
160 126
Jordan Reed is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
carmela-launi added Washington Redskins

36
197 291
Billy Joe DuPree is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Dallas Cowboys

37
142 158
Brent Celek is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
slaft added Philadelphia Eagles

38
187 343
Jerry Smith is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Washington Redskins

39
172 341
Wesley Walls is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Carolina Panthers

40
196 247
Owen Daniels is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Houston Texans

41
124 189
Ranker Video
chile6880 added Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans

42
155 317
Raymond Chester is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Baltimore Colts, Oakland Raiders

43
123 175
Chris Cooley is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
slaft added Washington Redskins

44
127 134
Tyler Eifert is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
himow added Tyler Eifert Cincinnati Bengals

45
129 298
Riley Odoms is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Denver Bronces

46
75 134
Ranker Video
slaft added Houston Oilers, Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs

47
106 243
Steve Jordan is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
JBK1 added Minnesota Vikings

48
57 89
Dennis Pitta is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
8697130 added Baltimore Ravens

49
85 109
Ranker Video
Esavi added Green Bay Packers

50
53 140
Charle Young is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
slaft added Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers