Best Tight End Ever

During the podcast this past week, we (slightly) argued over who the best Tight End ever was. I had several opinions:

But apparently I don’t “take things seriously” ???? Anyway – the debate went to football and I was uninterested…until I started thinking about it. Who WAS the best Tight End ever? I’ve probably missed some old great, but I’m doing recent tight ends here in the new passing league that is the NFL.

For exercise, I’ve set up a fun game for us to play. I’ve blinded 5 tight ends and you pick who the best ever is, okay?

TE 1              39.91                 0.49                 0.15
TE 2              68.36                 0.69                 0.15
TE 3              56.03                 0.41                 0.08
TE 4              50.17                 0.49                 0.12
TE 5              51.47                 0.47                 0.10

Hmmm….so what does measure the BEST? Is it yards per game? TDs per game? Or TDs/Reception? If it’s yards – TE 2 is a no brainer, right? But what are yards without TDs? If you go 99 yards every drive and come up 1 yard short, you’re not going to win any games. So TDs/game? That would mean TE 2 is a no brainer. And TE 3 is the worst? TDs/catch – how efficient are these guys? TE 1 and 2 are sure fire efficient guys. But are they healthy enough to stay on the field? Well, let’s look:

Eifert              39.91                 0.49                 0.15
Gronkowski              68.36                 0.69                 0.15
Gonzalez              56.03                 0.41                 0.08
Gates              50.17                 0.49                 0.12
Hernandez              51.47                 0.47                 0.10

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Eifert should not be on this list. I was making a point (I was half right and half wrong) that when he’s healthy he’s ridiculous and he’s at a minimum comparable on the TD portion of the chart. But this really does show that Gronk is superior in every category over Gonzalez and Gates. NOTE – Hernandez is on there as a joke – but looking at production on a per game basis is interesting.

Now, let’s look at careers:


Tony Gonzalez literally has over twice as many catches, about twice as many yards, and 32 more TDs than Gronk. Sure, it was in 155 more games, but what makes you the BEST? Is it what you do while you’re on the field, if very limited? Or is it what you do throughout a long amount of time and you mass those stats?

Also crazy – Hernandez played as many games as Eifert in half the seasons. He has more yards and essentially the same TDs. So, to my point, not being on the field is a detriment. Eifert has only played in 44.8% of the possible games he has been on the Bengals roster. Now I’m just complaining….

So there you have it. You have the stats. You know the guys. Who is the best Tight End ever? Who did I miss? Drop down in the comments and let me know.