Top 12 tight ends entering NFL Week 11
Tight end is a unique position, in that there are many distinct ways one can positively impact an offense. Differences can stem both from where a player lines up (inline, in the backfield, in the slot, or out wide) and what he does from those positions (blocking and/or receiving). As he has for the entire season, Rob Gronkowski tops our list of the top 12 tight ends through the first 10 weeks of 2015, combining brilliant work as a receiver (97.6) with superb blocking (89.3).
1. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots (98.1 overall grade)
Gronkowski has compiled 806 receiving yards on 332 route run, good for a league-leading 2.43 yards per route run among TEs. His run blocking grade of 89.3 is also the best among TEs.
2. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans (88.6)
Only three years removed from dropping 9-of-30 catchable passes for the 49ers in 2012 (worst drop percentage among TEs that season), Walker has only one drop in 46 catchable passes this year (third-best drop percentage among TEs in 2015).
3. Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals (85.4)
Even after a rough Monday night showing as both a receiver and a blocker, Eifert remains one of the top TEs in the league, turning 53 targets into 460 yards and nine touchdowns, while forcing four missed tackles. His nine receiving touchdowns are a league-best among all NFL positions.
4. Jordan Reed, Washington (84.8)
Despite missing time due to injury, Reed is tied for fifth among TEs in missed tackles forced (six), and is fourth in touchdowns (six).
5. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles (84.4)
Ertz has caught three of the seven deep passes thrown his way, good for 78 yards, with zero drops and a third-best 42.9 catch rate among qualified TEs on deep passes.
6. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers (82.0)
Gates plays the largest percentage of his snaps (74.8 percent) from the slot among all qualifying TEs. He also has the third-best yards per route run (2.02) from the slot, with no drops.
7. Crockett Gillmore, Baltimore Ravens (79.2)
One of three Ravens on this list, Gillmore is also one of three qualifying TEs that has not allowed pressure in any of his 47 passing-blocking snaps, good for a perfect pass blocking efficiency.
8. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers (78.4)
Olsen is second among TEs with 2.37 yards per route run, compiling a team-leading 664 receiving yards on 280 routes run for the undefeated Panthers.
9. Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears (77.7)
Much like his team, Bennett has rebounded from a slow start to post a 78.8 run block grade in 272 run snaps, good for sixth among TEs. He has finished with a positive PFF run blocking grade every season of his career.
10. Maxx Williams, Baltimore Ravens (77.6)
11. Nick Boyle, Baltimore Ravens (77.4)
Boyle has forced four missed tackles on 14 receptions (in 15 targets) on just 212 snaps. Like his teammate, Williams, Boyle has been solid in pass blocking (85.7) as well.
12. Ladarius Green, San Diego Chargers (76.8)
Like his teammate Antonio Gates, Green plays a lot out of the slot (65.8 percent), where he has caught 12-of -17 targets for 175 yards and two touchdowns.
To see where every NFL tight end ranks this season, access PFF 2015 Player Grades now.