The NFL is a passing league, but it's still important for teams to be able to run the football. These guys contribute in a big way in the running game and the passing game. The following is my personal list of the top 10 tight ends in the NFL. Let's get right to it.
As always, descending order:
10) Heath Miller - This man can block, and that's what I like in a tight end. On top of that, his ability to catch and make plays down field is very under rated.
9) Todd Heap - Heap isn't an outspoken guy, but he produces on the field. There's not much bad to say about a guy that just goes out and gets his job done.
7) Zach Miller (Oakland) - No this isn't the Jaguars' Zach Miller, but he represents something very rare in Oakland, a draft success. Look for him in a few years. Miller has all the tools to be great, but he needs help around him to get the recognition he deserves.
6) Chris Cooley - Here's another guy that battles in the trenches, and he knows how to catch a football. His production speaks for itself.
5) Kellen Winslow - His last name gets him brownie points, but he would get into this list on his own merits (and he did). Unfortunately, he's often an afterthought because of the team he plays for, but the Bucs should be on their way back to relevance. Stay tuned.
4) Vernon Davis - I love this guys versatility. He blocks, he runs, and he catches. Most importantly, he does all of this very, very well.
3) Marcedes Lewis - Lewis is one of the best blocking tight ends, and he plays passes like a giant wide receiver. I think most people in the Jaguars' loop realize how important he is for his team.
2) Antonio Gates - Gates is an all around guy. He continues the legacy of great tight ends in San Diego, and he can hold his own when compared to any tight end in the game today.