Tony Gonzalez, Shannon Sharpe.
Tight Ends: Tony Gonzalez (2019), Shannon Sharpe (2011).
Please note that there are only two Tight Ends who have been inducted in the last seventeen seasons and we will base the average only on these two players.
*Note that this is the same as last year, as no modern era Tight Ends were inducted in 2021.
2021 Pre-Season Rank: #20, 2020 Pre-Season Rank #37.
With only two legends comprising the Modern Positional Average statistics (Sharpe & Gonzalez), any Tight End will struggle to measure up, but this has not been an issue for Kelce. By all metrics the number 2 Tight End behind Rob Gronkowski in the 2010s, Kelce enters this year as the top man at his position and should get to 10,000 Receiving Yards this year. Earning Pro Bowl number seven, Kelce has a higher AV/G, but compiling traditional statistics will make him a lock if he is not there already. Expect him to crack the top ten next year if he has a typical Kelce-like season.
2021 Pre-Season Rank #41, 2020 Pre-Season Rank #46.
Is it the end of the road for Jimmy Graham? At one point, it looked like he was Hall of Fame bound, and he looked like the game's top Tight End when he was in New Orleans, but that seems like a lifetime ago. Overall, Graham's AV/G is low, he did not make the 10,000 Yard mark (and won't), but his 85 Touchdown Passes are sparkling and when his name comes up for consideration, this should be one of the first things they look at.
2021 Pre-Season Rank #86, 2020 Pre-Season Rank #93.
George Kittle is over the AV/G for Tight Ends, but four years does not a Hall of Fame career make. A First Team All-Pro two years year, Kittle is considered by some to be the top Tight End in the NFL, and if he can hold on to that (or stay in the top two) for a few more years he could be a future Hall of Famer. Playing only eight Games in 2020 due to injury likely caused Kittle a significant jump two years ago, but he was healthy and his stock continues to rise.
2021 Pre-Season Rank #119, 2020 Pre-Season Rank #106.
A three-time Pro Bowler, Zach Ertz had a high-ankle sprain in 2020, holding him to 11 Games and less then 400 Yards, but he bounced back in a year that saw him split with Philadelpha, and his current tean, Arizona. He will have to compile a lot of Yards over the next few years, which will be tough for a player in his early 39s.