1. Rob Gronkowski
I won't lie to you I'm not the biggest Patriots fan and I tried for so long to deny it but I can't any longer Gronk is the best TE in the NFL. As you all know I love complete players and Gronk is just that he does everything required from his position. First of all he has great size at 6'6 265. He's a terrific blocker both pass and run blocking. He has elite speed and athleticism as far as the TE position goes and terrific hands. Gronk runs routes well, jumps well, and is a monster in the redzone. He's the complete package.
2. Vernon Davis
Vernon Davis is the fastest TE in the NFL and a freak of nature. There were some TE's with better numbers last year but that's just because he plays with Alex Smith in a run heavy system. Davis can stretch the field from the middle of the field as you saw throughout the playoffs as Davis made some huge big plays to get the 49ers offense out of a funk. The thing that most impressed me this year was Davis improvement as a blocker which most likely has alot to do with his new coach. I give a slight edge for Vernon over Graham because of his blocking.
3. Jimmy Graham
Next to Vernon Davis Graham might be the most athletic TE in the league. He's got freakish skills with his ability to run and jump as a former basketball player. He was complemented many times on the year for his great route running ability. He runs routes like a WR and he hasn't even been playing organized football that long. He's the Saints deep threat from the TE position which is just sick to even think about. He needs to work on his blocking ability which should get better with time but he is a mismatch for every defense he goes up against and nobody can contain him man to man.
4. Jason Witten
Witten is still an elite TE in the league but he's no longer the best. He actually appears to be slowing down to me. Was never the fastest or jump the highest but still just seemed to be slowing down a bit. Not open as much as he has been in the past even tho compared to every other TE he was still open quite a bit. He's still a terrific blocker both passing and running maybe the best blocking TE of the elite pro bowl caliber TE's. Still has great hands rarely drops passes and a tremendous route runner. Also despite a lack of great speed he's still one of the best TE's in the league running after the catch. He doesn't have much time left playing at this level but for now he's still very much a big time player and he's still key in the Cowboys offense.
5. Antonio Gates
Gates when healthy we all know is one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the NFL. But him making the pro bowl this year was a complete joke and clearly a lifetime achievement award. Gates has been plagued by nagging injuries the last 2 seasons now and clearly have effected his play. He played well in some short stretches this season but for the most part he started to look like a shell of himself at times. Looked bigger, slower, and out of shape at times. He's never been a good blocker that's just not his thing but if healthy I gotta believe he can still get it done so I'm gonna give him a little benefit of the doubt.
6. Tony Gonzalez
Here's a guy that everyone just keeps waiting to fall off and retire and at the age of 35 he continues to play at not just a high level but he's still one of the best players at his position in the entire league. Gonzalez obviously at 35 isn't what he used to be as an athletic but he's one of the smartest and craftiest players in the league. He's still got some ups and combined with his 6'5 frame it allows him to still be a very good red zone threat and a guy you can still just throw it up to at times. He blocks, He's an elite route runner, and has some of the best hands in the league even counting wrs. Tony has already came out and said he's gonna play one more season so we'll see if he can do it one more time.
7. Jermichael Finley
Finley's numbers weren't at top for his position but we all know this guys talent and I can assure you he hasn't fallen off. Rodgers spreaded the ball around ALOT this season. Finely played with 4 other wrs that were thrown the ball on the regular so he wasn't gonna be at the top stats wise for TEs. Still Finely is one of the most physical TE's in the league. He can block, runs well, runs solid routes and can jump. He's a matchup problem and is a security blanket for Rodgers.
8. Brandon Pettigrew
Brandon Pettigrew is a big boy at 6'5 265. He doesn't have great speed like some of the other TE's on this list but he's got great leaping ability and he's big and strong with solid hands so he's a huge redzone threat and can dominate running patters across the middle of the field. He can block but for his size I'd like to see him block on the level of a Gronk or Witten so he can get better in that regard. Also he can improve as a route runner as well. But Pettigrew just rapped up his 3rd season. He's still very young and he will improve his overall game. I expect him to be a top 5 TE in this league and a guy that can take some pressure of Calvin Johnson as he enters the prime of his career soon.
9. Kellen Winslow
Winslow is a guy that relatively goes un talked about when the best TE's names get brought up. He had better seasons the past 2 seasons than last year but that was in large part because of the teams inconsistency and the inconsistency of their young QB Josh Freeman. Still Winslow is one of the more athletically gifted TE's in his own right and can run and jump well though he's def. no Gronk or Graham. He's an avg blocker to me although I must say I haven't really seen him block or payed as much attention to his blocking as the other guys on this list. Still he's a decent route runner and has somewhat dependable hands tho he will drop a pass here or there.
10. Aaron Hernandez
Numbers wise you could make a argument Hernandez should be higher but I don't think so. Aaron has greatly benefited from being the 3rd option on his team but he's def. not the only TE on this list that plays with other talented weapons. However he is the only guy on this list that plays with another pro powl caliber TE and that's the difference. There is a player that's even better than him playing the exact same position as him and it's really freeing him up to really have success. But there are alot of teams in the league that when they run 2 TEs sets usually the 2nd best TE in the league doesn't look as good as this guy. Hernandez even tho he doesn't have to deal with the attention that the other guys on this list does he still consistently beats man coverages when he's singled up and not alot of TE's do. He's got terrific speed and quickness for a TE but he does drop balls. His drop in the super bowl unlike Welker's was no surprise because I've seen him drop some all year so he's gotta sure all that up. But ultimately it's hard to rank him with him playing along side Gronk but at the same time his numbers justify him being top 10 on this list.