As we look forward to the 2019-20 season, don’t forget to keep an eye on these tight ends and what they can do for their team.
With the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, there is the potential for the remaining tight ends in the NFL to take his place as the best. As we head into the 2019-20 season, here is our list of the top 10 tight ends in the NFL to keep an eye on.
10. Evan Engram, Giants
2018 Stats: 45 catches, 577 yards, three touchdowns
His stats may not look all that great at first glance, but just remember he did miss five games due to injury. If he and his fellow teammates can overcome a disappointing 2018-19 season, we will have the opportunity to be able to see his game grow and improve. Engram can be a beacon of hope for all Giants fans to show that things can get better.
9. Jordan Reed, Redskins
2018 Stats: 54 catches, 558 yards, two touchdowns
He is one of the more athletic tight ends on this list, with the exception of the player at No. 1. With the quarterback situation in Washington up in the air, his contributions to the team may be inconsistent. However, if he can focus and be consistent with his playing abilities and stay away from injuries, he has the potential to overcome any disruption at the quarterback position.
8. OJ Howard, Buccaneers
2018 Stats: 34 catches, 565 yards, five touchdowns
Despite inconsistency at the quarterback position, Howard has proven he can make plays happen. He’s shown the ability to improve from his rookie season. To reach his full potential, he will have to overcome deficiencies within his own team and strive to make plays happen using his talent.
7. Austin Hooper, Falcons
2018 Stats: 71 catches, 660 yards, four touchdowns
Hooper has steadily improved his stats from year to year, showing that he’s capable of being one of the best at the tight end position. It’s easy to notice his ability to break tackles and gain yards, which makes him a player with the potential to make big plays in crucial games for his team.
6. Kyle Rudolph, Vikings
2018 Stats: 64 catches, 634 yards, four touchdowns
Coming off a 78 percent catch rate this past season, Rudolph is set to potentially have a better 2019-20 season. This is due to Kirk Cousins getting over his new team jitters and utilizing what he has in Rudolph. He has been able to produce for the Vikings, despite his target numbers being lower than in the past. His ability to be an effective blocker is a testament to his ability on the field.
5. Jared Cook, Saints
2018 Stats: 68 catches, 896 yards, six touchdowns
Cook is another tight end on this list who recently had his best season with a catch percentage of 67.3. Despite this occurring while playing for Oakland, there’s now the possibility of continued improvement with the Saints. The Saints now have a weapon who’s looking to prove he’s the right player for them.
4. Eric Ebron, Colts
2018 Stats: 66 catches, 750 yards, 13 touchdowns
Sometimes all it takes is a new place to call home, and Ebron certainly showed Colts fans why he was the 10th overall pick in the 2014 draft. He gave them an astounding 13 touchdown season, a significant improvement from his previous single digit seasons with Detroit. Continued improvement will only increase his stock and his position as one of the best tight ends in the NFL.
3. George Kittle, 49ers
2018 Stats: 88 catches, 1,377 yards, five touchdowns
Kittle surprised fans and everyone else in the NFL by breaking the league’s single-season receiving yardage record for a tight end with 1,377 yards. Averaging a catch percentage of 65.8 over two seasons, he’s made it look easy despite having three different quarterbacks to work with. Kittle is certainly worth keeping an eye on this upcoming season to see if he can continue to improve and offer the 49ers a chance to get back into the game.
2. Zach Ertz, Eagles
2018 Stats: 116 catches, 1,163 yards, eight touchdowns
Despite the Eagles’ offensive struggles, Ertz was able to pull in a record-breaking 116 catches. He now holds the single-season receiving record for tight ends. Fans and those around the league are getting the chance to see him go from a good tight end to one of the best currently playing.
1. Travis Kelce, Chiefs
2018 Stats: 103 catches, 1,336 yards, 10 touchdowns
In the 2018-19 season, Kelce had the most receptions, yards, and touchdowns of his career, thanks to Patrick Mahomes. Those stats also broke the franchise record set by Tony Gonzales. If this past season is any indication, Kelce’s skill, size, and ability to make plays will continue to help the Chiefs strive for greatness.