Over the years, the importance of the tight end in the NFL has drastically changed. In 2023, having a great tight end is as important as ever.
But who are the best tight ends? That debate begins immediately. Well, almost immediately.
To sort through the best tight ends in the NFL, we have ranked the best tight ends in the NFL. What teams are loaded at the position? What players have a chance to break out this year? The answers can be found below.
Odds used in tight end and team prop bets below ere found at DraftKings Sportsbook and are fresh as of Tuesday, June 27, at 5 p.m. ET.
TE Power Rankings: 35-21
35. Daniel Bellinger, New York Giants
34. Austin Hooper, Las Vegas Raiders
This is an interesting one. Hooper still feels capable of delivering a big year despite the presence of a promising rookie.
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33. Cade Otton, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
32. Jelani Woods, Indianapolis Colts
31. Hayden Hurst, Carolina Panthers
30. Sam LaPorta, Detroit Lions
The early indications are that Porta could become a key piece of an offense loaded with promise. Stay tuned.
🏈 Drafting your fantasy squad? See where LaPorta and the other tight ends in this article apppear in our fantasy football rankings.
29. Isaiah Likely, Baltimore Ravens
28. Hunter Henry, New England Patriots
27. Irv Smith Jr., Cincinnati Bengals
26. Trey McBride, Arizona Cardinals
25. Noah Fant, Seattle Seahawks
24. Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints
How exactly are we supposed to rank him? On the one hand, Hill is a matchup issue. On the other, injuries and position continuity still feel like an issue.
23. Dalton Kincaid, Buffalo Bills
22. Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals
21. Juwan Johnson, New Orleans Saints
TE Power Rankings: 20-11
20. Logan Thomas, Washington Commanders
Injuries have kept Thomas from realizing his full potential. That goes without saying. When healthy and on the field, however, he still has the makings of a player that can hover inside or around the top 10.
19. Michael Mayer, Las Vegas Raiders
Although the rookie could be sensational, he has yet to play an NFL game. A star at Notre Dame, Mayer should get ample opportunities out of the gate. He could soar up the rankings.
18. Mike Gesicki, New England Patriots
His production dipped in 2022, and a change of scenery should do him well. The former Dolphin has signed on with the Pats, and he should be featured prominently in an offense still sorting out its style.
17. Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams
After a slow start to his career, Higbee’s production has climbed in recent years. The Rams’ tight end caught a career-best 72 balls in 2022 despite playing in an offense that was, well, lacking.
16. Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Chargers
Every year he’s been in the NFL, Everett’s seen a climb in receptions and yardage. That could be tested this year, given the number of weapons on the Chargers’ offense. Everett could also benefit from being a quiet contributor.
15. Greg Dulcich, Denver Broncos
A third-round pick in 2022, Dulcich was a bright spot for a Denver team with few. His 411 receiving yards were certainly respectable, although the fact that he averaged 12.5 yards per catch should excite fans.
14. Chigoziem Okonkwo, Tennessee Titans
The second-year player broke out as a rookie, and he did so despite dealing with QB issues with the Titans. His most impressive stat? Okonkwo averaged 14.1 yards per catch in his debut season.
13. Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills
Knox followed up a solid 2021 campaign with a stellar 2022. He’s scored 15 touchdowns over the past two seasons, which has been solid. The question now, however, is whether Dalton Kincaid’s addition will impact his production.
12. Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears
Kmet has broken out the last two seasons, and Justin Fields‘ continued development should continue to propel his performance forward. Still just 24 years old, Kmet can surpass his seven touchdown catches from a season ago in 2023.
11. Dalton Schultz, Houston Texans
Now a member of the Texans, Shultz provides immediate credibility to an offense that certainly needs some. He’s delivered some superb moments over the past three seasons and likely be an immediate factor for his new team.
TE Power Rankings: 10-1
10. David Njoku, Cleveland Browns
Statistically, Njoku is a fascinating player. He’s never eclipsed 700 receiving yards in a single season, and injuries have hindered his production. When healthy, he’s still an enormous piece of an offense. And the Browns hope his presence will help elevate Deshaun Watson’s performance in his second year.
He’s still just 26, which is hard to fathom. If he ever unlocks his full potential, look out.
9. Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars
A change of scenery served Engram well in 2022. His 766 receiving yards were a career-high. As were his 73 catches.
The former Giant benefited greatly from the rapid development of Trevor Lawrence, and that could carry forward. With some fascinating weapons around him, however, Engram will likely share the spotlight. Still, Engram should continue to thrive as Lawrence progresses.
8. Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers
His first two seasons were, to many, largely missed. The former Penn State product is poised to blossom into an elite tight end, and his 732 receiving yards in 2022 was a massive step forward. The fact that he did it with a rookie quarterback makes it that much better.
While he might never put up monster statistical seasons, Freiermuth is positioned to be a massive piece of the Steelers’ offense for years.
7. T.J. Hockenson, Minnesota Vikings
A steady start to his NFL career took on new life last season. Hockensen nearly eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving while playing for the Lions and Vikings. His 10-catch performance against the Giants in the playoffs was likely a sign of things to come.
Jokes aside, Kirk Cousins will drastically alter Hockenson’s trajectory. There seems to be a connection brewing, and it could significantly alter his performance (and standing amongst great tight ends) moving forward.
6. Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles
Amid tremendous wideouts, productive running backs and a breakout year from QB Jalen Hurts, Goedert can sometimes be lost in the mix.
His 19 receiving touchdowns over five years don’t jump off the page, although he does everything well. He averaged nearly 13 yards per catch last season, and his other measurables should increase as long as he stays healthy.
5. Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons
Although he finished last season with less than 400 receiving yards and only two touchdowns, the sky still feels like the limit for Pitts.
He’s still 22 years old, has yet to play in a truly functioning offense, and played in only 10 games last year. The best is still to come, but will it happen this season?
The offense should be better, although the QB is still a question mark. Regardless, expect his production to soar once again.
4. Darren Waller, New York Giants
He’s played only 20 games over the last two seasons, and his productivity has taken a hit. Injuries, however, might be the only thing that could slow Waller down with his new team.
In 2020, Waller caught 107 balls and scored nine times. Now, with some improved weapons alongside, Waller should be in a position to be one of the focal pieces on an improving offense—if he can stay on the field.
3. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens
His 2021 season is one of the best seasons a tight end has ever had: 107 catches, 1,361 yards and nine touchdowns. His 2022 season could have been more productive, although an injury to Lamar Jackson didn’t help.
In the red zone, he’s a matchup nightmare. Andrews has blossomed into a unique target near the goal line and elsewhere. If Jackson can stay healthy, Andrews could deliver the best season for any tight end come fall.
2. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
Athletically, there aren’t many players like him. He makes a strong case as the NFL’s best tight end when healthy.
Injuries, of course, have hindered opportunities over the last three years. Despite some missed games, Kittle has been excellent on the field. In 2022, he scored 11 touchdowns in 15 games. If he’s healthy and the QB position is stable, he could be in line for a monster year.
1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
This, of course, is pretty easy. Kelce has put up seven consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons. He’s also coming off a year where he caught more touchdowns than ever before.
He plays in the perfect offense alongside the NFL’s best quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. But he’s still one of the most talented football players, and he’s likely to stay productive despite being 33 years old.