When it comes to tight ends in the NFL, one stands alone.
Kansas City’s prolific pass catcher Travis Kelce has shattered numerous records over his 10-year career and was the unanimous choice by The Associated Press for the top spot among tight ends.
A panel of nine AP Pro Football Writers ranked the top five players at tight end, making their selections based on current status entering the 2023 season. First-place votes were worth 10 points. Second through fifth-place votes were worth 5, 3, 2 and 1 points.
George Kittle was the only other player picked on all nine ballots and he received five second-place votes to finish second. Mark Andrews got the other four second-place votes and came in third with Dallas Goedert narrowly beating out T.J. Hockenson by one vote to come in fourth.
Evan Engram, Kyle Pitts and Chigoziem Okonkwo also got votes.
1. TRAVIS KELCE, Kansas City Chiefs: Kelce already ranks fifth in career catches (814) and fourth in yards receiving (10,344) among all tight ends and is showing no signs of slowing down. He set career highs last season with 110 catches and 12 TDs and had 1,338 yards receiving for his record seventh straight season with at least 1,000 yards. Kelce excels in the postseason, where his 133 catches for 1,548 yards and 16 TDs rank behind only Jerry Rice in all three categories.
2. GEORGE KITTLE, San Francisco 49ers: Kittle is perhaps the most well-rounded tight end as he is both dominant as a blocker to key San Francisco’s run game and as a receiver with the ability to make big plays after the catch. Kittle set a record with 1,377 yards receiving in 2018 (Kelce broke that mark two years later) and had a career-high 11 TDs last season.
3. MARK ANDREWS, Baltimore Ravens: Andrews has emerged as the top target in Baltimore with 107 catches and 1,361 yards in 2021. His numbers dipped a bit last season but he still might be the second-best receiving threat at the position to Kelce.
4. DALLAS GOEDERT, Philadelphia Eagles: Goedert has been extremely consistent as a key part of the Eagles offense in recent years. He had 55 catches for 702 yards last season on a deep Philadelphia offense that limits his production.
5. T.J. HOCKENSON, Minnesota Vikings: Hockenson had a slow start to his career after being drafted in the first round by Detroit in 2019 but really broke out last season following a midseason trade. He had 60 catches for 519 yards and three TDs in 10 games with the Vikings where he emerged as a strong No. 2 threat behind Justin Jefferson in the passing game.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl