The greatest tight ends of all time are those dynamic National Football League players who have played the position better than anyone else. The tight end position is a unique one as it has evolved from a blocking player to one that focuses more on receptions meaning each of these best NFL tight ends dominated the role as it was played during their prime.
There is a reason that the Mackey Award is given out each year to the top tight end in college football. That's because John Mackey is easily the best tight end ever to play football. The now Pro Football Hall of Fame member dominated the position with the Baltimore Colts and San Diego Chargers and made the position one to recognize.
Following in Mackey's footsteps are dozens of other talented and famous tight ends such as Tony Gonzalez, the first tight end to catch over 1,000 passes, Kellen Winslow Sr. who dazzled at tight end for the San Diego Chargers, the great Mike Ditka, who before coaching or broadcasting averaged 19.2 yards per catch and notched 12 touchdowns as a rookie and Shannon Sharpe, who topped an amazing 10,000 yards over his career in Denver and Baltimore.
But the top tight ends in the NFL don't stop there. Young stars have taken the offensive position to an entire new level and fascinated fans everywhere along the way, racking up crazy stats and scoring touchdowns left and right. Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots is a perfect example of that as he has become the envy of other teams, fans and players with his talent.
Who do you think played the best at tight end of all time? Vote for your favorites, add any not listed or re-rank this list your way all below! Want more football rankings? Check out the greatest linebackers of all time and the greatest NFL punters of all time too! If you're a fantasy football player, head over and help decide the best fantasy football TEs of 2019
Teams: New England Patriots
Teams: Dallas Cowboys
Teams: San Diego Chargers
Teams: Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens
Teams: San Diego Chargers
Teams: Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs
Teams: Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys
Teams: Cleveland Browns
Teams: Kansas City Chiefs
Teams: Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers
Teams: Baltimore Colts, San Diego Chargers
Age: Dec. at 70 (1941-2011)
Teams: Oakland Raiders, Houston Oilers, Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Raiders
Teams: New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers
Teams: San Francisco 49ers
Teams: Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens
Teams: Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants
Teams: New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens
Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers
Teams: Phoenix Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys
Teams: New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, New York Giants
Teams: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Oakland / Los Angeles Raiders
Age: Died at 57 (1956-2013)
Teams: Philadelphia Eagles
Teams: Tennessee Titans
Teams: Houston Oilers, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins
Teams: New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers