With MLB, NBA and NHL all on hold, the NFL took center stage last week with the start of free agency. We saw franchise and transition tags handed out as well as a whirlwind of player movement that takes our “Way Too Early” Player Rankings and chucks ‘em out the window. Ok, so not altogether, but I’ve got enough risers and fallers to afford me the opportunity to update my 2020 rankings of the skill positions as we head towards the NFL Draft in late April.
Let's move on to the tight ends...
Again, not a huge amount of movement as tight end production is more relative to the coaching system, but with some of the recent free agent shuffling, we do have a few interesting changes to look at.
|1||Travis Kelce||KC||No changes in Kansas City, so no reason not to expect him to be the No. 1 TE in the game again.|
|2||Mark Andrews||BAL||Over 100 targets last year and still developing alongside Lamar Jackson . No Hayden Hurst either puts Andrews on the field for more snaps.|
|3||George Kittle||SF||He'll continue to see the targets as Jimmy Garoppolo 's main option, but will also start drawing more coverage which is why they need more than just Deebo Samuel.|
|4||Darren Waller||LV||No reason to think Derek Carr doesn't continue to rely on his most targeted pass-catcher once again.|
|5||Zach Ertz||PHI||He's still the No. 1 option for Carson Wentz , but he's going to fight for snaps with Dallas Goedert .|
|6||Hunter Henry||LAC||TyRod Taylor needs that big wide-bodied target and Henry should provide the reliability he needs.|
|7||Evan Engram||NYG||Just needs to stay healthy and he can be a fantastic red zone option for Daniel Jones.|
|8||Noah Fant||DEN||Developed a nice on-field rapport with Drew Lock last year and should remain a major component of the Broncos passing game.|
|9||Austin Hooper||CLE||Needs to develop some chemistry with his new QB and will compete for targets with OBJ and Jarvis Landry . Should get stron red zone work, though.|
|10||Jared Cook||NO||Targets may dwindle with the addition of Emmanuel Sanders , but Brees really seemed to appreciate having a strong pass-catching tight end once again.|
|11||T.J. Hockenson||DET||Hopefully he stays concussion-free and can develop into that heavily-targeted tight end Matthew Stafford has needed over the past few seasons.|
|12||O.J. Howard||TB||If he can stay on Bruce Arians' good side, then he could be a huge target for Tom Brady in this offense. Must outshine Cameron Brate in a MAJOR way.|
|13||Mike Gesicki||MIA||Developd well with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center last season and should continue to see targets in this scheme's passing attack.|
|14||Jonnu Smith||TEN||No more Delanie Walker puts Smith on center-stage in an offense that loves to utilize the tight end in the passing game.|
|15||Tyler Higbee||LAR||Had a breakout campaign last season and should remain a strong target, especially if the Rams trade away Brandin Cooks .|
|16||Greg Olsen||SEA||The veteran tight end should get his mojo back, particularly inside the red zone, with Russell Wilson throwing him the ball.|
|17||Hayden Hurst||ATL||Would love to see him build a rapport with Matt Ryan similaar to what Austin Hooper did. If so, he could see some otstanding target numbers this season.|
|18||Dallas Goedert||PHI||Not sure if he ever steps out of Ertz' shadow, but he gets enpough work to help you through the bye weeks when your starter is idle.|
|19||Ryan Griffin||NYJ||The Chris Herndon experiment was a major failure for the Jets and Griffin, in turn, developed strong chemistry with Sam Darnold . If Adam Gase is on-board, he could post a strong season.|
|20||Jimmy Graham||CHI||Matt Nagy finally gets the big-bodied tight end he's been coveting, even if Graham is years past his prime.|