1. Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots
Gronk is the deadliest tight end in the league when healthy, and that’s the problem: he hasn’t been very healthy over the last year. Gronkowski does not possess the greatest hands, but he won’t drop a large amount of passes. Gronk is nowhere near being strictly a receiving tight end. He is a very good run blocker on the edge. His route-running skills are the best of any tight end in the NFL. He knows how to use his body to beat out defensive backs, and he shows off nice footwork. He’s the full package at the tight end position.
2. Vernon Davis – San Francisco 49ers
Davis is another tight end that can do it all. Davis doesn’t have the surest hands, he has trouble hauling balls over the middle at times. Davis is an above average blocker, he plays his assignments well. His quickness allows him to separate himself from defenders. Davis is probably the fastest tight end in the league.
3. Jason Witten – Dallas Cowboys
Jason Witten has some of the surest hands in the NFL. Witten will catch anything thrown at him. Witten is a good run blocker, and will also help block in passing situations. He can run any route, and he has the tools to create separation. He doesn’t possess top end speed. Witten has been one of the most consistent players in the league for the last several years.
4. Heath Miller – Pittsburgh Steelers
Miller has the best hands of all tight ends in the league, and is the most reliable Steelers receiver. He’s not the greatest blocker, and he rarely shines on the strong side. Miller can run a wide variety of routes. He does a great job of tearing linebackers and safeties apart. His only downfall is his lack of speed, other than that he’s a very well-rounded tight end.
5. Jimmy Graham – New Orleans Saints
Graham has good hands, please ignore the stats. Yes, he does have the most dropped passes of any tight end in 2012, but he also was thrown at the second most of all tight ends in the league. Graham is nowhere near being a good blocker, and it’s the reason why he’s not higher on this list. Graham’s physical attributes make him a very dangerous route runner. He explodes off the snap of the ball. Graham doesn’t possess top level speed, but he’ll make a play in open field.