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2015 NFL Player Rankings: Tight Ends


Just like last year, Athlon Sports' 2015 NFL Preview magazine includes NFL player rankings at every position. The rankings in the magazine are provided by Dan Shonka of Ourlads' NFL Scouting Services, a company that's been in the football talent evaluation business for more than three decades.

Related: 2015 NFL Player Rankings - Quarterbacks

While the Rob Gronkowski vs. Jimmy Graham debate is sure to pick back up this season, there was no doubt that Gronk was the best tight end in the league last season. Following his injury-plagued 2013 in which he played in just seven games, Gronkowski made it through the 2014 campaign injury free and posted some mighty impressive numbers along the way. Graham was no slouch himself, catching 10 touchdown passes, but some nagging injuries limited his big plays, as he averaged a career-low 10.5 yards per catch. This season, while Gronk will team up with Tom Brady once again to wreak havoc, Graham will be catching passes from Russell Wilson instead of Drew Brees, as the big target looks to add a new element to Seattle's offense in its quest for a third straight trip to the Super Bowl.

Rankings courtesy of Ourlads' NFL Scouting Services

Positional Rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE |OL

2015 NFL Player Rankings: Tight Ends

1. Rob Gronkowski, New England

The huge red-zone target with long arms made it through the 2014 season injury-free. He corralled 82 passes for 1,124 yards, averaging 13.7 yards per catch, and scored 12 times.

2. Jimmy Graham, Seattle

Fought through a shoulder injury in 2014 but still came up with 85 catches good for 889 yards and 10 touchdowns. He will have a new role in Seattle as a blocker, as well as a featured receiver.

3. Jason Witten, Dallas

Has caught 943 passes in his 12-year career, good for 10,502 yards and 57 touchdowns. He also has played in 187 straight games.

4. Greg Olsen, Carolina

Was second only to Gronkowski in tight end receiving yards with 1,008. Has played in 126 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in the NFL among active tight ends.

5. Martellus Bennett, Chicago    

Led all tight ends with 90 catches, averaging just over a first down per reception at 10.2 yards. He broke Hall of Famer Mike Ditka’s single-season record for most catches by a Bears tight end.

6. Travis Kelce, Kansas City     

Showed good run-after-catch ability, gaining 20 yards or more on 15 of his 67 catches. For a big man, he has the speed to get vertical down the field.

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7. Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis 

Allen and teammate Coby Fleener became the first tight end duo on the same team to each record eight touchdowns in a season. He’s a versatile athlete who can play fullback, wide receiver and in the slot.

8. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia 

A dependable pass catcher who is smart and athletic. Effective blocker when on the move. Productive with 58 catches for 702 yards.

9. Virgil Green, Denver  

A natural hand catcher with speed. Demonstrated good-enough ball skills and athletic ability that the Broncos decided to let Julius Thomas go in free agency.

10. Julius Thomas, Jacksonville

Signed with Jacksonville as an unrestricted free agent. Became the first tight end in NFL history to catch at least 12 touchdown passes in consecutive seasons.

11. Antonio Gates, San Diego

12. Delanie Walker, Tennessee

13. Heath Miller, Pittsburgh

14. Charles Clay, Buffalo

15. Jared Cook, St. Louis

16. Owen Daniels, Denver

17. Coby Fleener, Indianapolis

18. Jermaine Gresham, Free Agent        

19. Vernon Davis, San Francisco

20. Larry Donnell, N.Y. Giants