This hybrid position, tight end (TE), requires a vast number of abilities if you wish to become a professional. It is a combination between the wide receiver and the offensive lineman; thus you need to own excellent tactical skills. Below we will have a look at some of the best athletes who had proven talent in the name of the NFL.
8. Vernon Davis
Vernon has been a player for the Washington Redskins for the last four years. Before becoming a TE, he went through the positions of a defensive, linebacker, receiver and kick returner at his college. At the University of Maryland, Davis had the astonishing five receptions for 87 yards.
During his professional career, Vernon has participated in the biggest tournaments in the world, such as the Super Bowl. Some of his most prominent achievements after he signed with Washington Redskins are against:
- Philadelphia Eagles – he caught a famous touchdown pass
- Cincinnati Bengals – in a 27–27 tie he saved five passes for 93 yards
- Minnesota Vikings – he caught a 38-yard touchdown reception
7. Travis Kelce
That modern player has recorded more than five thousand yards, 33 touchdowns, and over four hundred receptions so far. He became one of the biggest names in American football as soon as he accepted the offer from the Kansas City Chiefs. In June 2013 he signed up a contract for about 4 million USD. Some of his triumphs were:
- In October 2016 he had a touchdown against Indianapolis Colts
- In September 2017 he scored a touchdown and had eight receptions against the Philadelphia Eagles
- In 2018 he was named first-team All-Pro and to the 2018 Pro Bowl
6. Shannon Sharpe
Shannon Sharpe is one of the most famous players of Denver Broncos from 1990 to 1999 and Baltimore Ravens between 2000 and 2001. He has won the award Super Bowl champion three times. It is not a surprising fact, having in mind that he had scored 62 touchdowns during his career. What is more, his receiving yards are over ten thousand!
Sharpe was voted to Pro Bowl eight times and three times to First-Team All-Pro. Due to his contribution in the sport, he was cherished into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, located in Canton, Ohio. After he retired from the pitch, he became a very successful commentator for the show The NFL today.
5. Antonio Gates
This master played for the Chargers his entire career. For sixteen years he has 111 touchdowns and more than eleven thousand yards. He was in his best shape during the year 2016 as 57% of his yards were performed precisely at that time. His strongest moments were:
- In 2010 he became the seventh tight end
- In 2015 he became the second tight end to catch one hundred touchdowns
- In 2017 he passed Tony Gonzales for his 112th touchdown reception
4. Rob Gronkowski
Rob Gronkowski, or just Gronk, was the star of New England Patriots between 2010 and 2018. Like Shannon Sharpe, he has won the Super Bowl whole three times. However, Gronk was ranked the best tight end five times by the NFL Top 100 Players. An interesting fact about him is that at college he was not interested only in football, but also basketball. But thanks to his coach Mike Stoops, he made his choice.
Despite all the injuries and surgeries, he had during the years, he preserved his professional level and continued playing like a real lion. Currently, Rob possesses about 54 million USD. And he deserves that for sure, as he has proven his strength, stamina, and consistency.
3. Jason Witten
Some may say he is an old-school tight end, but it`s impossible not to point out his achievements while he played for the Dallas Cowboys between the years 2003 and 20017. He became a Pro Bowler 11 times. For his 239 games, he has about 12,500 yards and more than 1000 catches. Not surprisingly, he is cherished in the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
2. Kellen Winslow
Not a common name in the NFL but one of the legendary ones. Between 1979 and 1987 Winslow played for the San Diego Chargers together with another big star – Leroy Jones. One of the unforgettable matches is a playoff game against the Miami Dolphins in 1982. Winslow had a touchdown and made a record – only 13 passes for 166 yards. The crowd couldn`t believe their eyes.
For the total of 109 games played, Kellen made 45 touchdowns and had more than 6700 receiving yards. He was voted Pro Bowl Champion five times and three times First-team All-Pro at the beginning of the eighties. It`s needless to say that he was elected not only to the College Football Hall of Fame but also to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His son, Kellen Winslow II, followed his father`s path and also became a tight end.
1. Tony Gonzalez
The presence of Tony Gonzales is a must when we speak about the NFL in general. His career began with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1997 and finished with the Atlanta Falcons in 2013. During his 17 seasons, he managed to perform more than 1300 catches and 15000 yards. An imposing tight end, favorite of millions of fans worldwide.
For 21 years in the industry, he missed just two games and lost only two fumbles. Tony also had some doubts on whether to develop his skill in American football or basketball. Eventually, he took the right decision. This prodigy has so many NFL records that you cannot imagine. Thus, below, we will list only a few:
- Pro Bowl All-Time leader in Receptions
- Most consecutive seasons with over 600 yards from scrimmage between 1998 and 2013
- Most consecutive seasons with over 70 receptions during the decade between 2003 and 2013
- Most seasons with more than 1,000 receiving yards by a tight end