One of the most important but yet highly overlooked positions in the NFL is the position of “tight end.” The NFL is in desperate need for productive tight ends, especially with some of the league’s top stars aging or tied down to contracts with teams. Let’s break down the importance that three of the top tight ends have had to their respective teams, and you can decide who you think the best NFL tight end is.
Travis Kelce was selected by Adam Schein of NFL.com as one of the league’s nine most dispensable players (Non-QB), and was the only tight end chosen. During the 2019-2020 season, Kelce had 97 receptions for 1229 yards with 5 of those recpetions being touchdowns. He averaged 12.7 yards per reception and recorded one fumble lost. Not only was Kelce a pair of hands for Mahomes, he also had one rushing attempt for 4 yards and a touchdown. During the postseason run for the Chiefs, Kelce was an absolute monster. He was targeted 24 times with 19 receptions and 204 yards recorded. He also had 4 postseason touchdowns in 2019 which was more than half of his playoff career touchdown count.
Zach Ertz was a very important part of the Philadelphia Eagles offense especially due to their offensive injuries. Although, Ertz suffered a lacerated kidney in addition to a fractured rib, which forced him sit out for one game in the regular season, and severely impacted his production during the playoffs. During his 15 games in the regular season, Ertz had 88 receptions for 916 yards and 6 touchdowns. He averaged 10.4 yards per catch and recorded one fumble lost. During the postseason for the Eagles, Ertz was targeted 4 times with 2 receptions for 44 yards and no touchdowns. In his 7 postseason games, Ertz has only recorded two touchdowns, one this postseason and one in Superbowl LII.
George Kittle was a significant part of the 49ers offense as they attempted to make a run for the NFC title. During his 14 games in the 2019-2020 season, he had 85 receptions for 1053 yards with 5 receptions resulting in a touchdown. Kittle recorded one fumble, but did not lose it. Even though he had an injury (torn labrum), it did not slow him down. His 2019 season was so exceptional that he received a grade of 95.0 from Pro Football Focus, which also made him the highest-graded player in the NFL and gave him the highest single-season grade for a TE ever. Since his arrival to the 49ers in 2017, this past season was the first time the team had made it to the playoffs. During the playoffs Kittle was targeted 13 times with 8 receptions for 71 yards and no touchdowns.
Who do you think is the best tight end in the NFL? If you think it is someone other than these three, leave a comment and I’ll break them down!