After letting the numbers decide who the top 130 receivers in the NFL are, it’s time to do the same at the tight end position. For the most part, tight ends provide most of their value as a receiver, so the evaluation process is somewhat similar to that of wide receiver. Yet, tight ends have to at least be capable run blockers to be three-down players, and in the end, that can be what separates the tier 2/3 players from the elite players at the position.
To assess our 84 qualifying tight ends, here are the statistics that were used:
- Pro Football Focus Receiving Grade is the most stable metric to evaluate receiving production, as it is able to showcase the quality of a receiver independently of their quarterback.
- Yards Per Route Run allows us to see how effective a tight end is per every route they run, and is pretty stable on a yearly basis.
- Drops tend to fluctuate, but they’re still deserving of being part of the equation, so we’ll use Pro Football Focus’ Drop Grade.
- Yards/Reception allows us to give an extra boost to dynamic vertical threats who can change the game with one play.
- Certain schemes place a heavy emphasis on the ability to create yards after the catch, so we’ll also look at their Yards after Catch/Reception.
- Pro Football Focus Run Block Grade is the metric we’ll use to judge tight ends’ blocking production.
From there, each player is graded with a percentile rank for each statistic based on their production over the past two seasons, with their 2019 numbers weighted slightly more than their 2018 numbers. After that, their percentile grades are used in the following formula:
Now that the process of evaluation has been explained, let’s see who the top 84 tight ends in the NFL are!
#1: George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers (Overall Grade: 98.33)
Other tight ends were included in the top tier, but if you look at the overall grades for each of these players, it’s clear how much better George Kittle is than any player at the position. Not only does he rank in the 100th percentile in receiving grade and yards per route run, but he’s also one of the most productive run-blocker in the NFL. To top it off, his run-after-catch ability works tremendously in head coach Kyle Shanahan’s scheme, as he is nearly impossible to tackle.
#2: Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (Overall Grade: 89.665)
In terms of receiving production, Travis Kelce has come close to matching Kittle’s production. He’s a vertical threat who really does a nice job stretching the middle of the field for Chiefs, as he’s a perfect fit for Andy Reid’s offense. Drops have always been an issue, but you’d trade that in a heartbeat for the chunk plays he’s able to create.
#3: Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens (Overall Grade: 89.445)
The Ravens offense relies a lot on tight ends, as they run a lot of sets with multiple tight ends, and work over the middle of the field with their passing game. Therefore, Mark Andrews may be their most valuable non-quarterback, as similarly to Kelce, his drops aren’t a major concern when he’s such a tremendous receiving threat.
#4: Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raiders (Overall Grade: 88.975)
Darren Waller’s recovery from substance abuse is quite a terrific one, and his emergence last season for the Raiders was one of the best stories in the NFL. A former wide receiver in college, he looks like a receiver with how crisp his movements are, and on a team without a true #1 receiver, he’s the player that Derek Carr will continue to rely on. The Raiders were smart to move quickly to extend him at the beginning of last season.
#5: Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams (Overall Grade: 88.8875)
The Rams offense has generally worked through their receivers, but last season, head coach Sean McVay made the tight ends a bigger part of his offense. That led to a major breakout season from Tyler Higbee, as he earned a 90.1 receiving grade and posted 2.6 yards/route run. Similarly to Waller, Los Angeles saved themselves a lot of money by extending him before he broke onto the scene.
#6: Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Overall Grade: 81.6625)
Is Rob Gronkowski going to be the dominant player he was in his prime now that he’s come out retirement to play with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay? I certainly wouldn’t bet on that, as even in the season before he retired, he had the worst season of his career. Yet, even when just taking that season into account, he still ranks as the top tier-two tight end. I’m not sure if he’ll have the play strength to be an inline blocker, but even if he’s more of a “big slot” weapon, he probably will still produce like a top-ten tight end.
#7: Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams (Overall Grade: 79.375)
For a team that runs so much 11-personnel, it’s a little strange to acknowledge that the Rams have two of the top tight ends in the NFL. Unlike Higbee, Gerald Everett has been a much more consistent player for Los Angeles, and even though his run blocking declined this season, he remained a steady producer in the passing game (79.7 receiving grade). Considering that the Rams have already extended Higbee and drafted a tight end in the fourth round, it’s likely that Everett hits the open market next offseason- he should have plenty of suitors.
#8: Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (Overall Grade: 79.2)
This may surprise some, but Dallas Goedert is the best tight end on the Eagles. With all the injuries that the Eagles dealt with at the receiver position in 2019, the former second-round pick was relied upon heavily, and he delivered. He’s a reliable receiver who can make plays after the catch, but what makes him Philadelphia’s top tight end is his run blocking- he ranks in the 99th percentile in run-block grade.
#9: Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints (Overall Grade: 77.675)
Ever since trading Jimmy Graham, the Saints were sorely lacking production from the tight end position, which is why they brought in Jared Cook on a two-year deal. The 33-year-old was coming off of a career year, which likely scared some teams, but New Orleans’ move paid-off; he still struggled as a blocker and has shaky hands, yet his receiving production was as strong as it was in 2018. In fact, he has to be considered one of the top tight ends in terms of creating big plays, as he leads tight ends in yards/reception over the past two seasons.
#10: Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (Overall Grade: 76.925)
Ertz is great for fantasy owners as a receiving threat who gets a lot of targets and scores plenty of touchdowns. As far as his real-life value is concerned, however, he’s a very poor run blocker who doesn’t create much after the catch, nor does he really stretch the field. He’s due for an extension, but if I’m the Eagles, I’d strongly consider rolling with Goedert, and finding a cheaper #2 tight end for their two-tight end sets.
#11: Chris Herndon, New York Jets (Overall Grade: 76.925)
Injuries and a four-game suspension ruined his 2019 campaign, but in his rookie season in 2018, Chris Herndon emerged as a playmaker for a Jets offense that certainly needs one. He’s a super athletic player who is able to stretch the field as a vertical threat, though expectations shouldn’t be high for him as a blocker (20th percentile).
#12: Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers (Overall Grade: 74.5375)
Injuries are an unfortunate part of the game, and sometimes, it feels like specific players get hit with the injury bug more than others. After two productive seasons to start his career, Hunter Henry practically all of 2018 with a torn ACL, and also missed four games this season with a tibia plateau fracture. When he did play last season, he wasn’t the same, though he still managed to rank in the 85th percentile with a 75 receiving grade. If he can stay healthy next season, I expect him to produce closer to his pre-2018 levels, which is why the Chargers were very smart to keep him via the franchise tag.
#13: Hayden Hurst, Atlanta Falcons (Overall Grade: 74.45)
He’s mostly regarded as a first-round bust from the Ravens, but Hayden Hurst has actually become a quality tight end. Sure, he wasn’t lived up to expectations after being drafted before Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews, and Orlando Brown, but it’s hard for a rookie tight end to make an impact, and he was productive in his second season. He’s not someone that you want to trust as a blocker, yet he’s a well-rounded receiver who could emerge as a top-ten tight end in the Falcons’ offense. He’s someone that I would definitely target in fantasy leagues.
#14: Foster Moreau, Las Vegas Raiders (Overall Grade: 74.1)
The Raiders, similarly to the Eagles, like to utilize multiple tight ends in their offense. Therefore, even with Darren Waller’s emergence, Foster Moreau was able to make a noticeable impact as a fourth-round rookie. His 80.8 receiving grade is extremely encouraging, even if he struggled as a run-blocker and is more of a target in the short passing game.
#15: Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers (Overall Grade: 73.8875)
Just like with Hurst, Eric Ebron is a former first-round tight end who has been underrated because of the lofty expectations that were placed upon him. In both Detroit and Indianapolis, he’s always had massive issues with drops, but he still remains one of the better threats in the red zone. Combine his receiving abilities with his improvements as a blocker, and it looks the Steelers essentially stole him in free agency with a marginal two-year, $12 million deal.
#16: Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns (Overall Grade: 73.7925)
Whereas Ebron was overlooked on the open market and Hurst was acquired for a second-round pick, Austin Hooper was able to reset the tight end market with the $42 million contract he signed with the Browns. He’s someone that tends to get overrated because of his overall production, but most of his catches come from finding holes in zone coverage and being schemed open. When tasked with beating man coverage, however, he has a tough time getting open himself, and that contract was an overpay for a good-not-great player.
#17: Evan Engram, New York Giants (Overall Grade: 73.4375)
As receiving production becomes more valued at the tight end position, the “f” tight end will continue to grow in popularity. One of the first players with this prototype, Evan Engram, has had an uneven career with the Giants, and was even in trade rumors this offseason. He has struggled to stay healthy and offers very little as a blocker, but his run-after-catch ability is intriguing, and I’m convinced he’d thrive in a different situation.
#18: OJ Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Overall Grade: 71.05)
Drafted right before Engram in the first round of the 2017 draft, OJ Howard has also had a super strange career. After an uninspiring rookie season, he was fabulous before getting injured in 2018, and was essentially a non-factor in Bruce Arian’s offensive system this past season. He’ll still be relied upon since Gronkowski probably will play on a more limited basis, however, which is why he hasn’t been traded. After all, he’s still a big-play threat in the passing game, while you don’t earn a 90 receiving grade by accident.
#19: Will Dissly, Seattle Seahawks (Overall Grade: 89.05*)
Season-ending injuries have forced him to under 250 snaps in each of the past two seasons, but when he’s been healthy, Will Dissly has been one of the better tight ends in football. He’s constantly been able to connect with Russell Wilson for big plays, and although the Seahawks added a lot of tight end depth this offseason, he should be their starter- hopefully, he can finally stay healthy this season.
#20: Maxx Williams, Arizona Cardinals (Overall Grade: 69.85)
The Cardinals don’t utilize tight ends that often in Kliff Kingsbury’s spread-out offensive scheme, but when they need a reliable option, they have Maxx Williams. Not only is he tough to bring down with the ball in his hands, but he’s also been the top run blocker in the NFL over the past two seasons.
#21: Delanie Walker, Free Agent (Overall Grade: 68.5625)
Injuries have limited him to 232 snaps over the past two seasons, and when you add in the fact that he’s 35-years-old, it’s clear to see why teams are hesitant to sign Delanie Walker. Yet, between 2014 and 2017, he established himself as an all-around tight end who not only was a productive receiver, but one of the best run blockers. He’s certainly worthy of a one-year flyer for a team in need of depth, such as the Redskins, Ravens, or 49ers.
#22: Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans (Overall Grade: 67.8125)
With Walker unable to plain, the Titans have asked Jonnu Smith to step up as their lead tight end. He wasn’t up to the task in 2018, but he was significantly better this past season, as he earned a 78.6 receiving grade and posted 1.83 yards/route run. Perhaps most notably, his run-after-catch skills rank in the 100th percentile over the past two seasons.
#23: Blake Jarwin, Dallas Cowboys (Overall Grade: 67.675)
Rather than seek additional reinforcements, the Cowboys seem confident that Blake Jarwin can be their starting tight end- they signed him to a contract extension this offseason. With 1.82 yards/route run last season, he’s proven to be a quality-enough receiving option to at least get a chance in Dallas.
#24: Nick Boyle, Baltimore Ravens (Overall Grade: 67.6625)
Since their offense tends to run through their tight ends, having a top-five tight end in Mark Andrews isn’t enough for the Ravens. Luckily for them, Nick Boyle is a starting-caliber player as well. Though he’s most known for his skills as a blocker, he also has mostly been a stable option in the passing game as well. In fact, he may be the unsung hero of Baltimore’s offense.
#25: Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts (Overall Grade: 67.325)
The Colts have a very strong offensive line, but it also doesn’t hurt that their top tight end, Jack Doyle, is one of the better blockers in the NFL. Now, he’s not a big-play threat at all in the passing game, and would best be served in a duo with a more athletic player, similarly to the combination he was a part of with Eric Ebron. However, he is a reliable intermediate target, which has plenty of value.
#26: David Njoku, Cleveland Browns (Overall Grade: 63.9625)
Heading into his third season in the NFL, David Njoku was generating a lot of hype. Unfortunately, injuries limited him to just 99 snaps, but by picking up his fifth-year option, the Browns are all-in on him being one of their two starting tight ends. Considering that he’d developed as a blocker and is a productive receiver, even with his drop issues, that’s definitely a smart decision by them.
#27: Jacob Hollister, Seattle Seahawks (Overall Grade: 62.275)
When Dissly went on injured reserve last season, the Seahawks needed a tight end to step up and form a connection with Russell Wilson, and that’s what Jacob Hollister was able to do. He’s not a vertical threat and doesn’t create much after the catch, but similarly to Doyle, he’s a sure-handed receiver in the short passing game and a solid run blocker.
#28: Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (Overall Grade: 62.15)
Kyle Rudolph is a very similar player to Austin Hooper, but slightly worse. He’s a stiff player who can’t really create for his own or generate big plays, though he’s an excellent threat in the red zone and seldom drops an incoming pass.
#29: TJ Hockenson, Detroit Lions (Overall Grade: 62.015)
Rookie tight ends usually have a very tough time producing, even the elite prospects. TJ Hockenson was drafted 8th overall in the 2019 draft, and some even considered him the next Rob Gronkowski. He had an inconsistent rookie season, though he still managed to be an above-average receiver and run blocker, while his production after the catch was tremendous. Heading into his second season, I’m expecting big things from the former Iowa Hawkeye.
#30: Greg Olsen, Seattle Seahawks (Overall Grade: 59.675)
Once one of the premier tight ends in the NFL, Greg Olsen has regressed as he’s dealt with injuries and gotten older, and the 35-year-old will hope to be rejuvenated playing with a deep tight end group in Seattle. Whereas Hollister is productive as a run blocker, Olsen provides nothing in that regard. However, he’s a sturdy target in the receiving game that can still provide value as a situational player.
#31: Noah Fant, Denver Broncos (Overall Grade: 59.63)
Hockenson’s teammate at Iowa, Noah Fant was also drafted in the first round of the 2019 draft, but offers a completely different skill set. To be frank, he’s an absolutely terrible blocker who can’t play an inline role, which means he’s more of a “f” tight end in the mold of Evan Engram. With his athleticism and receiving ability (1.52 yards/route run), I expect him to develop into one of the better tight ends in the NFL.
#32: Tyler Eifert, Jacksonville Jaguars (Overall Grade: 58.9125)
In 2015, Tyler Eifert was one of the best tight ends in the NFL. Since then, however, he hasn’t played over 500 snaps in a season, and now will try to rejuvenate his career with the Jaguars. He’s been a productive receiver in the intermediate passing game, and was previously a very capable run blocker. Still, it’s impossible to know what you’re getting from him, especially since his blocking was significantly worse last season.
#33: Anthony Firkser, Tennessee Titans (Overall Grade: 76.5375*)
When Ryan Tannehill took over as the Titans’ starting quarterback, the team ran a lot of sets with multiple tight ends. That meant a greater role for Anthony Firkser, and he delivered. He’s a decent run blocker, but his main value comes from his receiving ability, as during his small sample size, he ranks in the 80th percentile or better in receiving grade, yards/route run, and yards/reception.
#34: Darren Fells, Houston Texans (Overall Grade: 56.9)
Standing in at a staggering 6’7″ and 270 pounds, Darren Fells is able to use his physical advantages to his benefit. He’s been super productive in the red zone, and although he isn’t an adequate blocker, his receiving production has made him a sufficient complementary tight end.
#35: James O’Shaughnessy, Jacksonville Jaguars (Overall Grade: 55.825)
He’s not an exciting option, yet there’s something to be said about not being a liability in any particular area. James O’Shaughnessy has proven to be a capable receiver and blocker, and although I wouldn’t want to entrust him with a starting role given his lack of upside, he’s perfectly apt to succeed in a tight end rotation.
#36: Seth DeValve, Carolina Panthers (Overall Grade: 54.2125)
He hasn’t been able to carve out a consistent role in the NFL, but Seth DeValve fits the same mold as O’Shaughnessy as a low-upside backup tight end. He hasn’t been great as a blocker, and isn’t a standout receiver. However, he’s an athletic player who makes plenty of chunk plays.
#37: Irv Smith Jr., Minnesota Vikings (Overall Grade: 51.7625)
The Vikings run their offense out of 12 personnel, so even though they have Kyle Rudolph, former second-round pick Irv Smith Jr. is a starter for them. He tested out well at the combine and was supposed to be a field-stretching tight end with production after the catch, but it was actually his run blocking in which he fared well in (80th percentile). He’s still only 21-years-old, and should progress into a much better tight end than Rudolph.
#38: Adam Trautman, New Orleans Saints (Overall Grade: 51.6)
Since expectations should be low for rookie tight ends, the first 2020 draftee to appear from a weak position group is Adam Trautman, whom the Saints stole at the end of the third round. He played at a small school at Dayton and isn’t a great straight-line runner, yet those are his only major flaws. He’s a crisp route runner who is also a skilled blocker, and is definitely Jared Cook’s future replacement in New Orleans. I see him as a similar player to Dallas Goedert, so in a year or two, he could even be a top-ten tight end.
#39: Jordan Akins, Houston Texans (Overall Grade: 50.125)
A former third-round pick for the Texans, Jordan Akins was the starter over Fells last season. He’s essentially an average receiver and blocker, but is dynamic after the catch and can create big plays.
#40: Jace Sternberger, Green Bay Packers (Overall Grade: 50)
He didn’t play much last season, but similarly to the Saints with Trautman, the Packers were thinking ahead with their selection of Jace Sternberger in the third round of the 2019 draft. With Jimmy Graham gone, he’ll be Green Bay’s starting tight end this season, and needs to emerge as a quality player for them given their lack of receiving talent. Although he was a below-average run blocker in college, he was an elite receiving threat in college, and will probably fill-in as more of a “big slot”- the Packers probably see him as a mismatch weapon.
#41: Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers (Overall Grade: 66.775*)
Robert Tonyan has been of a reserve player for the Packers since signing with them as an undrafted free agency, so it’s hard to get a proper read on his abilities. However, he has shown enough flashes as a receiver and as an average blocker for me to believe he should get more playing time this season.
#42: Charles Clay, Free Agent (Overall Grade: 49.4625)
He was a productive player during his prime with the Dolphins and Bills, but at this stage of his career, Charles Clay’s run blocking (75th percentile) is his main strength. Nevertheless, his lackluster receiving is production is likely why he remains unsigned.
#43: Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears (Overall Grade: 48.5)
With their first pick in the 2020 draft, the Bears drafted Cole Kmet with the 43rd overall pick. Yet, that was a massive reach for a player whose upside is similar to Austin Hooper and Kyle Rudolph. He’s not a strong enough route runner to be a mismatch weapon, and in the end, will probably just be a serviceable starter.
#44: Josh Hill, New Orleans Saints (Overall Grade: 47.7125)
With under 1 yard/route run over the past two seasons, Josh Hill certainly isn’t valued by the Saints for his receiving abilities. Rather, it’s his 80th percentile run blocking, as well as his run-after-catch ability (95th percentile) that makes him a quality backup tight end with a clear role in head coach Sean Payton’s offense.
#45: Marcedes Lewis, Green Bay Packers (Overall Grade: 46.925)
The Packers don’t have a clear starting-caliber tight end, but they do have three players who are high-end backups. Marcedes Lewis has no sort of speed to offer at 35-years-old, so his role with Green Bay is to serve as one of the better run blockers; he’s also very difficult to tackle with the ball in his hands.
#46: Jesse James, Detroit Lions (Overall Grade: 45.55)
When he was with the Steelers, Jesse James always seemed to have untapped potential. Alas, he hasn’t covered that upside into actual production, as he struggles with drops, and is an average receiver and blocker who is very inconsistent. The fact that Detroit gave him a four-year, $22.6 contract last offseason is rather baffling.
#47: Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills (Overall Grade: 44.775)
Dawson Knox played a larger role than expected for the Bills last season after being drafted in the third round, and the team needs to be hoping for a second-year breakout. He demonstrated his field-stretching ability, but also ranked in the 0th percentile in drops, which tanked his overall production. Yet, with his athletic tools and surprisingly adequate run blocking, I’d assume he cleans up his problems and ranks as a top-20 tight end next season; drops tend to be somewhat fluky year-to-year.
#48: Ryan Griffin, New York Jets (Overall Grade: 44.7375)
Since he’s 6’6″ and 264 pounds, Ryan Griffin has always been a player that you’d think would be better than he actually is. He was better last season, yet is a poor run blocker with not enough receiving production to get excited about.
#49: Jimmy Graham, Chicago Bears (Overall Grade: 43.825)
In his prime with the Saints, Jimmy Graham was a freak tight end that was practically unstoppable. In his two years with the Packers, however, he’s clearly been a shell of his former self. He was always an inconsistent run blocker, yet without his top-notch athleticism, I’m not sure what he really offers at this point of his career. Somehow, he earned a larger contract on the open market (2/$16M) than Eric Ebron.
#50: Ricky Seals-Jones, Kansas City Chiefs (Overall Grade: 4w.1375)
With 4.69 speed, Ricky Seals-Jones is the type of player that is extremely fun to use in Madden. However, in real life, he shows potential as a vertical threat, but hasn’t been reliable as a receiver; considering he ranks in the 5th percentile in run blocking, it’s safe to say he needs to be more consistent as a receiver. On the bright side, I really like the fit with him in the Chiefs’ opened-up passing offense.
#51: Hunter Bryant, Detroit Lions (Overall Grade: 43)
The top tight end on many analysts’ draft boards, Hunter Bryant was supposed to be a day-two pick, yet somehow went undrafted. It’s unclear why he fell, but it likely wasn’t due to any talent concerns, so at the end of the day, the Lions should be excited to add him to their tight end room. He’s an “f” tight end who won’t be able to stick as an inline blocker, and would be best served in a role similar to Evan Engram- he’s essentially a “big slot” mismatch weapon.
#52: Jason Croom, Buffalo Bills (Overall Grade: 42.0625)
Since he was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury, Jason Croom didn’t actually get to play last season. Drops were a problem for him in his rookie season, but he has upside with his athletic ability as a potential big-play generator. Add in his poor run blocking, and he’s very similar to Seals-Jones.
#53: Jason Witten, Las Vegas Raiders (Overall Grade: 41.375)
After coming out of retirement last year, Jason Witten had the worst season of his career, and it matched his subpar production from the season prior to his retirement. He’s never been someone who wins with athleticism, and at this stage of his career, that’s even more true- don’t expect him to run routes that are more than five yards past the line of scrimmage. He’s an okay run blocker, but when you rank in the 0th percentile in run-after-catch ability and in the 10th percentile in yards/reception, how much do you really bring to the table?
#54: Derek Carrier, Las Vegas Raiders (Overall Grade: 40.725)
With his abilities as a blocker, Derek Carrier has been able to stick in the NFL as a #3 tight end. You shouldn’t entrust him to actually produce as a receiver, but he’s someone who definitely belongs on an NFL roster.
#55: Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Overall Grade: 40.0875)
In 2016 and 2017, Cameron Brate was one of the better receiving tight ends in the NFL, which is why the Bucs signed him six-year, $40.8 million extension. However, in the two seasons since signing that deal, he’s been a below-average receiver, and has offered nothing after the catch (0th percentile). If Tampa Bay intends to run more plays out of 12 personnel, it was smart for them to upgrade from him with Gronkowski.
#56: Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins (Overall Grade: 39.65)
Mike Gesicki was an early second-round pick for the Dolphins in 2018, and so far, he hasn’t developed into the player Miami was hoping he’d become. He’s been as poor of a run blocker as he was expected to be, with definite drop issues, but he has supposed to be at least a field-stretching weapon, and he hasn’t even been that. It’s safe to say the Dolphins are really hoping he can progress this season.
#57: Brycen Hopkins, Los Angeles Rams (Overall Grade: 39.5)
The Rams understand that they don’t have the finances to pay two tight ends, and with Gerald Everett set to be a free agent, they needed to find his future replacement. Brycen Hopkins can be that for them, as the Purdue product has struggled with drops, but has a lot of potential as a vertical threat in the passing game.
#58: Jeff Heuerman, Denver Broncos (Overall Grade: 36.25)
#59: Nick Vannett, Denver Broncos (Overall Grade; 36.075)
#60: Lance Kendricks, Free Agent (Overall Grade: 35.1)
#61: Kaden Smith, New York Giants (Overall Grade: 34.975)
#62: Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers (Overall Grade: 33.35)
Vance McDonald showed glimpsed of potential in 2018, but his 2019 season was disastrous- he had a 44.6 receiving grade, posted 0.69 yards/route run, was far worse as a run blocker, and always had issues with drops. On the bright side, he’s still a weapon after the catch, though it’s safe to say his role will likely be limited after the Steelers signed Eric Ebron.
#63: Ross Dwelley, San Francisco 49ers (Overall Grade: 32.5)
#64: Thaddeus Moss, Washington Redskins (Overall Grade: 28.7)
The son of Randy Moss, Thaddeus Moss’ main enticing trait isn’t his receiving ability, even if he has nice ball skills. However, he’s a very skilled run blocker, and since he’s just 21-years-old, he certainly could develop into a fringe starting tight end; the main reason he went undrafted was due to a foot injury.
#65: Josiah Deguara, Green Bay Packers (Overall Grade: 28.65)
We’ve touched on how the Packers have a lot of options at tight end, but no player they know they can count on. Josiah Deguara fits that mold, as he is a good route runner and quality blocker, yet he’s too undersized to play a traditional inline role. It appears the Packers will use him as a fullback, and although taking him in the third round to fill that role is a downright terrible idea in terms of positional value, it may be where he’s best suited.
#66: Matt LaCosse, New England Patriots (Overall Grade: 27.075)
#67: CJ Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals (Overall Grade: 27.075)
#68: Logan Thomas, Washington Redskins (Overall Grade: 26.525)
#69: Trey Burton, Indianapolis Colts (Overall Grade: 25.7625)
The Bears’ issues at the tight end position have been well-documented, but it’s not for a lack of trying- they gave Trey Burton a massive four-year, $32 million deal two offseason ago. The problem is, he was an unproven commodity at the time, and in his two seasons with the team, he didn’t provide much in any aspect as a receiver. Luckily for him, he’s still a talented blocker, so he’ll hope to do better in a new home after signing with the Colts.
#70: Harrison Bryant, Cleveland Browns (Overall Grade: 25.755)
Harrison Bryant was super productive at FAU, but he may not have the athletic tools and strength to be a starting tight end. However, his technique as a route runner and blocker is enough for me to think he can develop into a complementary tight end, and he was a solid pick for the Browns in the fourth round.
#71: Devin Asiasi, New England Patriots (Overall Grade: 25.754)
He lacks refinement, but Devin Asiasi is one of the few players in the 2020 draft who can be a traditional “Y” tight end. His run-after-catch ability and blocking are a great combination of skills, though he needs refinement, and shouldn’t be counted on to contribute early for the Patriots.
#72: Colby Parkinson, Seattle Seahawks (Overall Grade: 25.752)
The 6’7″ Parkinson won’t be an inline blocker, but as a mismatch weapon as a “big slot” type, he was a lot of potential. The Seahawks should look to utilize him in the red zone while he develops into a more complete player.
#73: Albert Okwuegbunam, Denver Broncos (Overall Grade: 25.751)
Without his college quarterback Drew Lock, Albert Okweugbunam was a major disappointment in his final year at the University of Missouri. However, he has all the athletic tools to be an intriguing developmental project, and Denver can only hope he can add another level of playmaking upside to their offense after selecting him in the fourth round to be reunited with Lock.,
#74: Drew Sample, Cincinnati Bengals (Overall Grade: 25.75)
With Tyler Eifert leaving for the Jaguars, the Bengals can only hope that former second-round pick Drew Sample can be their starting tight end in his second season. He projects as more of a blocking tight end, however, so Cincinnati likely will need to temper their expectations for him.
#75: Dalton Keane, New England Patriots (Overall Grade: 25.5)
Keane is more of an “H back” type of tight end, and considering how unproductive he was in college, was a very surprise pick by the Patriots in the third round.
#76: Virgil Green, Los Angeles Chargers (Overall Grade: 23.1375)
#77: Nick O’Leary, Las Vegas Raiders (Overall Grade: 22.9)
#78: Demetrius Harris, Chicago Bears (Overall Grade: 20.5375)
#79: Ian Thomas, Carolina Panthers (Overall Grade: 20.525)
A former fourth-round pick, the Panthers likely will entrust Ian Thomas with the starting job after cutting ties with Greg Olsen. Olsen has missed a lot of time, however, so Thomas has gotten a lot of playing time- he’s been extremely disappointing as a receiver and a liability as a blocker, and I’m surprised Carolina didn’t look to further upgrade at the position.
#80: Geoff Swaim, Free Agent (Overall Grade: 20.45)
#81: Jeremy Sprinkle, Washington Redskins (Overall Grade: 15.9125)
#82: Josh Oliver, Jacksonville Jaguars (Overall Grade)
If you needed to know what the Jaguars think about Josh Oliver, this offseason would demonstrate that. Just one year after drafting him in the third round, they chose to keep them as a backup by signing Tyler Eifert, rather than give him a chance to start in what is a rebuilding year for them. He’s an athletic player, yet is so unrefined all-around, and was certainly a reach based on where he was picked.
#83: Jordan Thomas, Houston Texans (Overall Grade: 13.4375)