athletes The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

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List Rules Only NFL tight ends. No wide receivers or college players.

The greatest tight ends of all time are those dynamic National Football League players who have played the position better than anyone else. The tight end position is a unique one as it has evolved from a blocking player to one that focuses more on receptions meaning each of these best NFL tight ends dominated the role as it was played during their prime.

There is a reason that the Mackey Award is given out each year to the top tight end in college football. That's because John Mackey is easily the best tight end ever to play football. The now Pro Football Hall of Fame member dominated the position with the Baltimore Colts and San Diego Chargers and made the position one to recognize.

Following in Mackey's footsteps are dozens of other talented and famous tight ends such as Tony Gonzalez, the first tight end to catch over 1,000 passes, Kellen Winslow Sr. who dazzled at tight end for the San Diego Chargers, the great Mike Ditka, who before coaching or broadcasting averaged 19.2 yards per catch and notched 12 touchdowns as a rookie and Shannon Sharpe, who topped an amazing 10,000 yards over his career in Denver and Baltimore.

But the top tight ends in the NFL don't stop there. Young stars have taken the offensive position to an entire new level and fascinated fans everywhere along the way, racking up crazy stats and scoring touchdowns left and right. Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots is a perfect example of that as he has become the envy of other teams, fans and players with his talent.

Who do you think played the best at tight end of all time? Vote for your favorites, add any not listed or re-rank this list your way all below! Want more football rankings? Check out the greatest linebackers of all time and the greatest NFL punters of all time too!

1
+ - 2,497 1,126
Rob Gronkowski 
                    is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Rob Gronkowski Arizona Wildcats football, New England Patriots

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2
+ - 1,917 1,055
Tony Gonzalez 
                    is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Tony Gonzalez California Golden Bears football, Atlanta Falcons Kansas City Chiefs

3
+ - 1,471 848
Antonio Gates 
                    is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Antonio Gates San Diego Chargers

4
+ - 1,296 690
Shannon Sharpe 
                    is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Shannon Sharpe Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens Savannah State Tigers football

5
+ - 1,143 681
Mike Ditka 
                    is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Mike Ditka Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Panthers football Philadelphia Eagles

6
+ - 1,680 806
Jason Witten 
                    is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Jason Witten Tennessee Volunteers football, Dallas Cowboys

7
+ - 1,030 592
Kellen Winslow 
                    is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Kellen Winslow Missouri Tigers football, San Diego Chargers

8
+ - 642 489
Ozzie Newsome 
                    is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Ozzie Newsome Cleveland Browns

9
+ - 880 564
Jimmy Graham 
                    is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Jimmy Graham New Orleans Saints

10
+ - 682 492
John Mackey 
                    is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
John Mackey Baltimore Colts, Syracuse Orange football San Diego Chargers

11
+ - 620 437
Dave Casper 
                    is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

12
+ - 479 447
Jay Novacek 
                    is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Jay Novacek Phoenix Cardinals, Wyoming Cowboys football Dallas Cowboys

13
+ - 455 248
Greg Olsen 
                    is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Greg Olsen Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers Miami Hurricanes football

14
+ - 413 351
Mark Bavaro 
                    is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Mark Bavaro Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles New York Giants

15
+ - 386 337
Ben Coates 
                    is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

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16
+ - 374 235
Vernon Davis 
                    is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Vernon Davis Maryland Terrapins football, San Francisco 49ers

17
+ - 344 382
Todd Christensen 
                    is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

18
+ - 377 387
Dallas Clark 
                    is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Dallas Clark Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Baltimore Ravens

19
+ - 309 190
Heath Miller 
                    is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Heath Miller Pittsburgh Steelers

20
+ - 294 355
Jeremy Shockey 
                    is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Jeremy Shockey New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers Miami Hurricanes football

21
+ - 196 304
Jackie Smith 
                    is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Jackie Smith St. Louis Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys

22
+ - 190 279
Keith Jackson 
                    is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

23
+ - 179 311
Brent Jones 
                    is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Brent Jones San Francisco 49ers

24
+ - 165 277
Charlie Sanders 
                    is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

25
+ - 185 267
Todd Heap 
                    is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Todd Heap Arizona Cardinals, Arizona State Sun Devils football Baltimore Ravens

26
+ - 230 149
Julius Thomas 
                    is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Julius Thomas Denver Broncos

27
+ - 123 120
Russ Francis 
                    is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

28
+ - 122 231
Jerry Smith 
                    is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

29
+ - 112 225
Wesley Walls 
                    is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

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+ - 117 177
Billy Joe DuPree 
                    is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

31
+ - 111 214
Raymond Chester 
                    is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

32
+ - 70 85
Frank Wycheck 
                    is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

33
+ - 87 55
Martellus Bennett 
                    is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Martellus Bennett Texas A&M Aggies football, Chicago Bears Dallas Cowboys

34
+ - 80 214
Riley Odoms 
                    is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

35
+ - 133 116
Owen Daniels 
                    is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Owen Daniels Houston Texans

36
+ - 68 30
Delanie Walker 
                    is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Delanie Walker San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee Titans

37
+ - 56 84
Alge Crumpler 
                    is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Alge Crumpler Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots

38
+ - 56 28
Travis Kelce 
                    is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Travis Kelce Cincinnati Bearcats football, Kansas City Chiefs

39
+ - 59 75
Chris Cooley 
                    is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Chris Cooley Washington Redskins, Utah State Aggies football

40
+ - 27 18
Tyler Eifert 
                    is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Tyler Eifert

41
+ - 73 153
Steve Jordan 
                    is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

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+ - 34 24
Benjamin Watson 
                    is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Benjamin Watson New Orleans Saints, Georgia Bulldogs football team New England Patriots

43
+ - 35 55
Billy Cannon 
                    is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

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44
+ - 56 178
Rich Caster 
                    is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

45
+ - 22 58
Charle Young 
                    is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time

46
+ - 26 55
Mickey Shuler 
                    is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Mickey Shuler Oakland Raiders

47
+ - 18 63
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48
+ - 28 34
Mark Chmura 
                    is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Mark Chmura Green Bay Packers, Boston College Eagles football

49
+ - 25 43
Chad Lewis 
                    is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Chad Lewis St. Louis Rams, Philadelphia Eagles

50
+ - 31 36
Jordan Cameron 
                    is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Tight Ends of All Time
Jordan Cameron USC Trojans football, Cleveland Browns