The history of tight ends in the NFL is filled with exceptional talent and remarkable individuals who have left an indelible mark on the sport. From Jason Witten to Tony Gonzalez, each player has contributed to the legacy of the position through their skill, achievements, and impact on the field. In this article, we will explore the best NFL tight ends of all time and highlight their notable achievements.
Top 10 Best NFL Tight Ends Of All Time
|Tony Gonzalez||Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Falcons (1997-2013)||
|Antonio Gates||San Diego Chargers (2003-2018)||
|Shannon Sharpe||Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens (1990-2003)||
|Rob Gronkowski||New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2010-2018, 2020-present)||
|Travis Kelce||Kansas City Chiefs (2013-present)||
|Ozzie Newsome||Cleveland Browns (1978-1990)||
|Kellen Winslow||San Diego Chargers (1979-1987)||
|Mike Ditka||Chicago Bears (1961-1972)||
|John Mackey||Baltimore Colts (1963-1971)||
|Jason Witten||Dallas Cowboys (2003-2017, 2019)||
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Tony Gonzalez stands atop the pantheon of tight ends, holding the title of the all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards. During his illustrious career with the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons, Gonzalez amassed an incredible 14 Pro Bowl selections and was named a First-Team All-Pro six times. His prowess on the field earned him a well-deserved place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
A testament to versatility, Antonio Gates transitioned from a basketball background to become one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history. Gates holds the record for the most touchdown catches by a tight end, an impressive 116 in total. His three First-Team All-Pro selections and eight Pro Bowl appearances solidify his status as a dominant force in the league.
Shannon Sharpe carved his name in NFL history by becoming the first tight end to reach the coveted milestone of 10,000 receiving yards. With three Super Bowl appearances and four First-Team All-Pro selections, Sharpe’s impact on the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens cannot be overstated. His consistent excellence earned him a well-deserved place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Known for his unrivaled combination of size, strength, and athleticism, Rob Gronkowski has left an indelible mark on the game. Gronkowski holds the record for the most receiving touchdowns by a tight end in a single season, with an astounding 17. His contributions to the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers include four First-Team All-Pro selections and four Super Bowl victories.
A record-setting tight end, Travis Kelce has consistently displayed his exceptional skills on the field. With an impressive seven 1,000-yard seasons and holding the single-season receiving yards record for tight ends, Kelce has solidified his place among the greats. His four First-Team All-Pro selections and eight Pro Bowl appearances are a testament to his dominance in the league.
Ozzie Newsome’s impact on the Cleveland Browns franchise cannot be overstated. With five All-Pro selections and three AFC Championship Game appearances, Newsome left an indelible mark on the field.
Kellen Winslow revolutionized the tight end position with his deep-threat abilities in the Air Coryell offense. With five Pro Bowl selections and a place in the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team, Winslow’s contributions to the San Diego Chargers will forever be remembered.
Mike Ditka’s career as a tight end was nothing short of remarkable. His offensive prowess earned him the title of Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1961, and he went on to achieve five Pro Bowl selections and five All-Pro selections.
John Mackey’s exceptional durability and consistent performance on the field earned him the admiration of fans and peers alike. With five Pro Bowl selections and three All-NFL selections, Mackey’s contributions to the Baltimore Colts are etched in NFL history. He was duly recognized for his accomplishments with an induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Jason Witten’s career with the Dallas Cowboys showcased his unwavering consistency and remarkable statistics. With 11 Pro Bowl selections, two First-Team All-Pro selections, and impressive records of 1,273 receptions, 13,532 yards, and 75 touchdowns, Witten’s impact on the game was undeniable. His off-field contributions were equally remarkable, as he was honored with the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 2012.
The tight end position has evolved from primarily being blockers to becoming an integral component of NFL offenses. The top 10 best NFL tight ends of all time, including Rob Gronkowski, Tony Gonzalez, Shannon Sharpe, and others, have redefined the position with their exceptional skills, impact on the game, and record-breaking performances. These players have left a lasting legacy in the sport and will be remembered as some of the greatest to have ever played the game.
1. Who is the best tight end in NFL history?
The best tight end in NFL history is subjective and often debated among fans and experts. However, players like Rob Gronkowski, Tony Gonzalez, and Shannon Sharpe are frequently mentioned as top contenders for the title.
2. What makes a tight end great?
A great tight end possesses a combination of skills, including blocking ability, route running, catching, and the capability to create mismatches against defenders. Their impact on the game goes beyond statistics and includes leadership qualities and contributions to team success.
3. Can a tight end be a receiver?
Yes, tight ends are eligible receivers who can catch passes from the quarterback. They often line up beside offensive tackles but have the versatility to contribute in both the running and passing game.
4. Which team has produced the most successful tight ends?
5. How does a tight end differ from a wide receiver in the NFL?