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ZenoRazon

Top 10 TE'S All Time?

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TE and fullbacks, would play a bigger role in my offense.  Pass receiving FB's who can thump the line and block.  Not having a FB no way. Will he block,run,  pass protect, go out to receive? I like that.

Jim Brown was actually a FB, there were RB's beside him like Bobby Mitchell*****, Ernie Green, and if he hadn't died Ernie Davis would have been.  Jim Brown with a Heisman winning RB....whoa?

Oh yeah...tight ends.

John Mackey/Mike Ditka the first TE's to make some real impact, both in the HOF.

So just where do we put these guys,.......

Mackey/Ditka

Jackie Smith

Dave Casper

Ozzie Newsome

Charlie Sanders

Kellen Winslow

Shannon Sharpe

Jason Witten

Tony Gonzalez

Antonio Gates

Travis Kelce

GRONK

Russ Francis

Zach Ertz

Vernon Davis

Jay Novackek

Mark Bavaro

Todd Christenson

Joe Senser

Fred Arbansas..............the best TE in the old AFL, a Chief.

Ben Coates

 

Obviously forgetting somebody who deserves a mention.

 

I hate to just stack up numbers in all time anything, impact in era is big.

So whatcha got?  I got nothing right now.

Was going to post a video of Mackey but that wouldn't be fair as he does a great man vs boys impersonation.

*****  one of footballdoms really fascinating situations. Worth a Google search.

Speaking of a Google search......talking Mike Ditka reminded me of Johnny Morris, check him out.

 

 

Edited by ZenoRazon
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I'll throw out a rough list. 

1. Tony Gonzalez

drop off

2. Shannon Sharpe

3. Dave Casper

4. Rob Gronkowski

drop off

5. Antonio Gates

6. Charlie Sanders

7. John Mackey

8. Kellen Winslow

9. Keith Jackson

10. Fred Arbanas

Witten would have been 11th, but the 6-10 guys were all better in my opinion, they just had much shorter careers, Witten stopped being a difference maker, and then played another 5-6 years, racking up cumulative stats. Gates did the same, but was so much of a difference maker, that he gets boosted up a tier for me.

Also, if Travis Kelce can stay at the level he's at now, for a few more years(which is probably likely with Mahomes) he'll jump into the top-5 real quick. He'd probably be around 15th right now.

Joe Senser has no business on a list of best TE's, dude had 1 good year, 1 ok year, and was almost always hurt otherwise. He was 1980's Tyler Eifert, only probably less talented. Has a decent restaurant in Bloomington(IIRC) though. 

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19 minutes ago, travdogg said:

I'll throw out a rough list. 

1. Tony Gonzalez

drop off

2. Shannon Sharpe

3. Dave Casper

4. Rob Gronkowski

drop off

5. Antonio Gates

6. Charlie Sanders

7. John Mackey

8. Kellen Winslow

9. Keith Jackson

10. Fred Arbanas

Witten would have been 11th, but the 6-10 guys were all better in my opinion, they just had much shorter careers, Witten stopped being a difference maker, and then played another 5-6 years, racking up cumulative stats. Gates did the same, but was so much of a difference maker, that he gets boosted up a tier for me.

Also, if Travis Kelce can stay at the level he's at now, for a few more years(which is probably likely with Mahomes) he'll jump into the top-5 real quick. He'd probably be around 15th right now.

Joe Senser has no business on a list of best TE's, dude had 1 good year, 1 ok year, and was almost always hurt otherwise. He was 1980's Tyler Eifert, only probably less talented. Has a decent restaurant in Bloomington(IIRC) though. 

The whole time I was posting this it was..."who is it I;m missing"....yep, Keith Jackson, so...bravo~~~~~~~~

A 1200 yard season for any TE back in Sensers day was a big deal.  I couldn't totally ignore that.

Jason Witten has over 12, 000 yards, number 4 All Time (not talking just TE) receptions with  1,152.  He has to be in with the top 3/4.

GRONK over Gates/Mackey/Winslow?

See ya gave Sanders some respect, cool~~~~

You a Raider fan with Casper?

Edited by ZenoRazon

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1 minute ago, Buttonhook said:

I'd put Kellen Winslow in my Top 5.  Best TE of his era, by a big margin.  He'd also likely still be dominant in the NFL today.

And I would totally agree with you.

What an offense the Chargers had in his day.

 

Edited by ZenoRazon

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1 minute ago, ZenoRazon said:

The whole time I was posting this it was..."who is it I;m missing"....yep, Keith Jackson, so...bravo~~~~~~~~

A 1200 yard season for any TE back in Sensers day for a big deal.  I couldn't totally ignore that.

Jason Witten has over 12, 000 yards, number 4 All Time (not talking just TE) receptions with  1,152.  He has to be in with the top 3/4.

GRONK over Gates/Mackey/Winslow?

See ya gave Sanders some respect, cool~~~~

You a Raider fan with Casper?

Bears fan actually. Though I don't think it effects my opinion much, I'm usually too critical of Bears players.

I mentioned Tyler Eifert, but actually a better comparison for Senser may be Jordan Cameron. 

I've never valued receptions as a stat. Witten spent most of his career having 20-30 more catches than Gates for the same amount of yards and far fewer TD's.

I think we talked about this in the QB thread, but I think career cumulative stats are overrated, and should take less precedent over truly elite play, even if that elite play isn't anywhere near as long as sustained very goodness. Gronk at his peak is the best TE ever, and in my opinion. Longevity is the only thing keeping him at #4, and even then he played as long as Winslow, and only 1 year less than Mackey.

Casper probably won't be as high on most lists, but I'm a big fan of his. 

6 minutes ago, Andy Dufresne said:

No Ditka?

That might be my being too critical of Bears creeping in. Would have had him at #12 after Witten.

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10 minutes ago, travdogg said:

Bears fan actually. Though I don't think it effects my opinion much, I'm usually too critical of Bears players.

I mentioned Tyler Eifert, but actually a better comparison for Senser may be Jordan Cameron. 

I've never valued receptions as a stat. Witten spent most of his career having 20-30 more catches than Gates for the same amount of yards and far fewer TD's.

I think we talked about this in the QB thread, but I think career cumulative stats are overrated, and should take less precedent over truly elite play, even if that elite play isn't anywhere near as long as sustained very goodness. Gronk at his peak is the best TE ever, and in my opinion. Longevity is the only thing keeping him at #4, and even then he played as long as Winslow, and only 1 year less than Mackey.

Casper probably won't be as high on most lists, but I'm a big fan of his. 

That might be my being too critical of Bears creeping in. Would have had him at #12 after Witten.

I will give Bo Jackson/Gale Sayers a pass on needing longevity, they were simply too damn awesome.

Everybody needs time at the top, that longevity among the elite, Witten has to be on that Mount Rushmore for TE. hell.....14 seasons with over 60 receptions., a TE???

I do agree if just one game give me GRONK in his prime.

No love for Ozzie?

I liked Casper, he always had this far away look in his eyes, ha~~~~~~~

Edited by ZenoRazon

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46 minutes ago, travdogg said:

5. Antonio Gates

Respectfully, I don't see a good argument for ranking the best receiving TE in history at #5 in tier 3.

14 minutes ago, travdogg said:
22 minutes ago, Andy Dufresne said:

No Ditka?

That might be my being too critical of Bears creeping in. Would have had him at #12 after Witten.

Where exactly in the top 10 he should be can be debated, but no way Keith Jackson or Fred Arbanas should be ranked above Ditka.

Edited by Just Win Baby

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My list:

  1. Gonzalez
  2. Mackey
  3. Gates
  4. Casper
  5. Ditka
  6. Gronk
  7. Winslow
  8. Sharpe
  9. Witten
  10. Newsome

Kelce is right there and will push into the list very soon barring an unexpected turn in his career.

Edited by Just Win Baby
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1 minute ago, ZenoRazon said:

I will give Bo Jackson/Gale Sayers a pass on meeding longevity, they were simply too damn awesome.

Everybody needs time at the top, that longevity among the elite, Witten has to be on that Mount Rushmore for TE. hell.....14 seasons with over 60 receptions., a TE???

I do agree if just one game give me GRONK in his prime.

No love for Ozzie?

I liked Casper, he always had this far away look in his eyes, ha~~~~~~~

Ozzie likely wouldn't make my top-20. I think he's actually been better as a GM than a player.

14 seasons with over 60 catches isn't really a thing of value to me. When in Witten's career was he truly elite? He was never better than Gonzo or Gates. Gronk passed him by his 2nd season. I don't see a non-longevity argument for Witten as a top-4 guy. He's barely top-4 of his era in my eyes, and depending how long era's are classified as lasting, is likely to passed soon enough by Kelce.

 

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2 minutes ago, travdogg said:

Ozzie likely wouldn't make my top-20. I think he's actually been better as a GM than a player.

14 seasons with over 60 catches isn't really a thing of value to me. When in Witten's career was he truly elite? He was never better than Gonzo or Gates. Gronk passed him by his 2nd season. I don't see a non-longevity argument for Witten as a top-4 guy. He's barely top-4 of his era in my eyes, and depending how long era's are classified as lasting, is likely to passed soon enough by Kelce.

 

Newsome was a stud, not in my top 10 but top 15.

Witten played in 14 pro bowls, and they only bring two per conference.

Only Gonzales out stats him, he had a long career, a ton of pro bowls.

Gronk vs Witten....hmmm?

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39 minutes ago, Just Win Baby said:

Respectfully, I don't see a good argument for ranking the best receiving TE in history at #5 in tier 3.

Where exactly in the top 10 he should be can be debated, but no way Keith Jackson or Fred Arbanas should be ranked above Ditka.

I would argue against Gates being the best receiving TE in history. Clearly up there, but why do you think he is the best? Personally, I feel Gonzo had better hands, Sharpe ran better routes, and Gronk was more physically dominant. That said, I am a huge Gates fan, and am always baffled whenever he's compared unfavorably to Witten.

I'll admit if there is one thing I'm biased on more than being too critical of Bears, its being too friendly to AFL guys. Its entirely possible I'm too high on Arbanas. I'll defend Jackson though, he was by far the best TE in the NFL from 88-90, then Cunningham went down, and Jackson was still among the league leaders despite being part of arguably the worst offense in the NFL. He then went to Miami and had 3 solid years there,(though at this point Sharpe had passed him as league's best TE) went to Green Bay and instantly got hurt, and Mark Chmura broke out in his absence, however, Jackson came back the next year to blow right past a reigning Pro Bowler, and had a career high in TD's, and being a major part of the Packers winning the Super Bowl, he then retired on top, even though he could have easily put up several more years of decent seasons in my opinion, and really padded those career numbers, like Witten, in addition to possibly getting another ring with GB. He may have been enough of a difference for them in that Denver game.

Ditka had an amazing first 4 seasons, a solid 5th season, then spent the next 7 years, most of which outside of the Bears, being just a guy. While I certainly have Ditka a tier higher, in a lot of ways, his career arc lines up pretty similarly to a guy like Jimmy Graham.

I like your Casper ranking, really thought I may be on a limb with that one.

Edited by travdogg

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59 minutes ago, travdogg said:

14 seasons with over 60 catches isn't really a thing of value to me. When in Witten's career was he truly elite?

I agree that Witten's receiving career is overrated, but he was an elite blocker, and he was also very durable, which provided a lot of value to his teams.

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The major thing that is getting over looked with Witten is the % of his catchs that were chain movers. I 'd bet no TE in history had more third down receptions that moved the chains.

While here.

Nobody mentioned above had more TE yards in a season than my Niners George  Kittle.

How in the hell did I forget......Jimmy Graham?  DUH~~~~

Dallas Clarke.

Edited by ZenoRazon

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52 minutes ago, travdogg said:

I would argue against Gates being the best receiving TE in history. Clearly up there, but why do you think he is the best? Personally, I feel Gonzo had better hands, Sharpe ran better routes, and Gronk was more physically dominant.

I agree that Gronk was more physically dominant, but Gates has played roughly twice as many games as Gronk, in part because Gronk's physical style causes him to get hurt and miss games. I can't see Gronk being viewed as the best receiving TE of all time unless he sustains his strong performance for quite a bit longer, but there is speculation he could retire soon.

Sharpe may have run better routes, but both of them averaged 4.0 catches and roughly 50 yards per game, and their ypr averages are almost the same (12.3 for Sharpe to 12.4 for Gates)... but:

  • Gates' numbers have been dragged down by playing so far past his prime; had he retired at 35 like Sharpe, all of his averages would have been better.
  • Part of being the best receiving TE in history is catching TDs, and Gates has 54 more TDs than Sharpe.

So how important could Sharpe being a better route runner (if indeed he was) really be?

I agree Gonzo is the #1 TE of all time, but that is because he is one of the best receiving TEs while also being a good blocker. Similar to Sharpe comments above, TDs matter. Gates has more TDs than Gonzo despite having 553 fewer targets. Gates' ypr is also a full yard higher. Gonzo's catch percentage is very slightly higher, but, like Sharpe and route running, how much does having better hands (if indeed he did) really matter given these facts?

IMO Gates had the best combination of the traits you want in a strong receiving TE throughout most of his career:

  • Good routes and good hands
  • Consistently got open
  • Downfield threat
  • Very strong red zone threat
  • Drew heavy defensive attention, especially in the red zone, which helped the rest of the offense

He has certainly lost speed and athleticism in recent years with age and after suffering through various injuries, but overall IMO he has been the best to date.

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13 minutes ago, ZenoRazon said:

The major thing that is getting over looked with Witten is the % of his catchs that were chain movers. I 'd bet no TE in history had more third down receptions that moved the chains.

I seriously doubt that. I doubt he is even top 10 in percentage of catches that went for first downs, but I don't know where to find the data.

His career ypr is 10.8, far below most (if not all) of the other TEs being discussed.

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19 minutes ago, Just Win Baby said:

I seriously doubt that. I doubt he is even top 10 in percentage of catches that went for first downs, but I don't know where to find the data.

His career ypr is 10.8, far below most (if not all) of the other TEs being discussed.

Actually if not for the last few seasons he pretty much averaged 11.5ish.

I have to disagree I do think he had more chain moving receptions than any TE.

See what I can find.

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4 hours ago, ZenoRazon said:

Actually if not for the last few seasons he pretty much averaged 11.5ish.

I have to disagree I do think he had more chain moving receptions than any TE.

See what I can find.

"More change moving receptions" is not the same as "the % of his catchs that were chain movers", so maybe I misinterpreted your original claim. That said, I still doubt Witten is #1, but using an accumulated number rather than a percentage will put him closer to the top.

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6 hours ago, ZenoRazon said:

The whole time I was posting this it was..."who is it I;m missing"....yep, Keith Jackson, so...bravo~~~~~~~~

A 1200 yard season for any TE back in Sensers day was a big deal.  I couldn't totally ignore that.

Jason Witten has over 12, 000 yards, number 4 All Time (not talking just TE) receptions with  1,152.  He has to be in with the top 3/4.

GRONK over Gates/Mackey/Winslow?

See ya gave Sanders some respect, cool~~~~

You a Raider fan with Casper?

What is with the ~~~~? Does it serve a purpose? Just wondering if I’m missing something. 

Top 10 from who I watched - 80’s on

1. Gonzo

2. Gates

3. Gronk

4. Kelce

5. Witten

6. Olsen

7. Graham

8. Coates

9. Clark

10. Bavaro 

Before everyone picks it apart, remember, this is just based on my personal opinion from what I saw growing up to now. 

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I've seen many tight ends in my life and I think most of the best ones have not been listed at all 

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Gates and Winslow. That is a hell of a keagacy at the position. Gonzo and Kelce when all said could be as imoressive. Unless I am missing someone Raiders get the consolation with Casper and Christensen. (I used to really enjoy TC as an announcer as well.)

I find it a fools errand to rank them due to era differences, but some great names.

Edited by 32 Counter Pass

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18 minutes ago, 32 Counter Pass said:

Gates and Winslow. That is a hell of a keagacy at the position. Gonzo and Kelce when all said could be as imoressive. Unless I am missing someone Raiders get the consolation with Casper and Christensen. (I used to really enjoy TC as an announcer as well.)

I find it a fools errand to rank them due to era differences, but some great names.

Gronk and Coates would have to be up there.

ETA: Chiefs also had Arbanas too. They are probably the leaders in the clubhouse so far.

Edited by travdogg

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6 hours ago, Just Win Baby said:

"More change moving receptions" is not the same as "the % of his catchs that were chain movers", so maybe I misinterpreted your original claim. That said, I still doubt Witten is #1, but using an accumulated number rather than a percentage will put him closer to the top.

I;m thinking of all his receptions more of them resulted in a first down than any other other TE can claim.

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5 hours ago, Elevencents said:

What is with the ~~~~? Does it serve a purpose? Just wondering if I’m missing something. 

Top 10 from who I watched - 80’s on

1. Gonzo

2. Gates

3. Gronk

4. Kelce

5. Witten

6. Olsen

7. Graham

8. Coates

9. Clark

10. Bavaro 

Before everyone picks it apart, remember, this is just based on my personal opinion from what I saw growing up to now. 

I just like a ~~~~~~   I have no idea why.

Nice list, I'd have Witten third but other than that..............

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5 hours ago, Ilov80s said:

I've seen many tight ends in my life and I think most of the best ones have not been listed at all 

There's always somebody isn't there?

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15 hours ago, Just Win Baby said:
19 hours ago, ZenoRazon said:

I have to disagree I do think he had more chain moving receptions than any TE.

"More change moving receptions" is not the same as "the % of his catchs that were chain movers", so maybe I misinterpreted your original claim. That said, I still doubt Witten is #1, but using an accumulated number rather than a percentage will put him closer to the top.

I realized Data Dominator has receiving first downs, and it goes back to 2002. From 2002-2018, here are the top 10 TEs in receiving first downs:

  1. 656 Gates
  2. 648 Gonzalez
  3. 634 Witten
  4. 413 Olsen
  5. 406 Graham
  6. 400 Gronk
  7. 346 Heath Miller
  8. 334 Shockey
  9. 323 Owen Daniels
  10. 319 Vernon Davis

So Witten was #3, with a huge gap between him and #4. As I suspected, though, his percentage of receptions that resulted in first downs was much lower. Among TEs who had at least 300 targets from 2002-2018, here is the list of guys ahead of Witten:

  1. 76.78% Rob Gronkowski
  2. 68.69% Antonio Gates
  3. 67.43% Owen Daniels
  4. 67.00% Jimmy Graham
  5. 65.61% Travis Kelce
  6. 65.59% Tony Gonzalez
  7. 65.23% Tony Scheffler
  8. 64.39% Scott Chandler
  9. 63.38% Jared Cook
  10. 62.24% Dustin Keller
  11. 62.20% Greg Olsen
  12. 61.34% Billy Miller
  13. 61.10% Alge Crumpler
  14. 61.07% Anthony Fasano
  15. 61.06% Jeremy Shockey
  16. 61.05% Ed Dickson
  17. 60.04% Todd Heap
  18. 60.00% Dallas Clark
  19. 59.73% Zach Ertz
  20. 59.64% Jermichael Finley
  21. 59.13% Ben Watson
  22. 59.13% Eric Ebron
  23. 58.82% Coby Fleener
  24. 58.79% Brent Celek
  25. 58.74% Chris Cooley
  26. 58.64% Heath Miller
  27. 58.64% Kellen Winslow Jr
  28. 58.37% Visanthe Shiancoe
  29. 57.94% Marcedes Lewis
  30. 57.79% Desmond Clark
  31. 57.21% Jerramy Stevens
  32. 57.08% Julius Thomas
  33. 56.65% L.J. Smith
  34. 56.53% Jordan Reed
  35. 55.75% Jordan Cameron
  36. 55.67% Vernon Davis
  37. 55.03% Jason Witten

Not impressive at all for Witten. There are a lot of pretty average TEs on that list ahead of him, and most of them did not have QB play as strong as Witten did, given he played with Romo for more than half of his career.

Unfortunately, Historical Data Dominator does not support receiving first downs, so I don't know of a source to go further back than 2002.

By the way, I think this data supports my earlier claim that Gates is the best receiving TE in history.

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54 minutes ago, Just Win Baby said:

 

  1. 76.78% Rob Gronkowski
  2. 68.69% Antonio Gates
  3. 67.43% Owen Daniels
  4. 67.00% Jimmy Graham
  5. 65.61% Travis Kelce
  6. 65.59% Tony Gonzalez
  7. 65.23% Tony Scheffler
  8. 64.39% Scott Chandler
  9. 63.38% Jared Cook
  10. 62.24% Dustin Keller
  11. 62.20% Greg Olsen
  12. 61.34% Billy Miller
  13. 61.10% Alge Crumpler
  14. 61.07% Anthony Fasano
  15. 61.06% Jeremy Shockey
  16. 61.05% Ed Dickson
  17. 60.04% Todd Heap
  18. 60.00% Dallas Clark
  19. 59.73% Zach Ertz
  20. 59.64% Jermichael Finley
  21. 59.13% Ben Watson
  22. 59.13% Eric Ebron
  23. 58.82% Coby Fleener
  24. 58.79% Brent Celek
  25. 58.74% Chris Cooley
  26. 58.64% Heath Miller
  27. 58.64% Kellen Winslow Jr
  28. 58.37% Visanthe Shiancoe
  29. 57.94% Marcedes Lewis
  30. 57.79% Desmond Clark
  31. 57.21% Jerramy Stevens
  32. 57.08% Julius Thomas
  33. 56.65% L.J. Smith
  34. 56.53% Jordan Reed
  35. 55.75% Jordan Cameron
  36. 55.67% Vernon Davis
  37. 55.03% Jason Witten

Not impressive at all for Witten. There are a lot of pretty average TEs on that list ahead of him, and most of them did not have QB play as strong as Witten did, given he played with Romo for more than half of his career.

Unfortunately, Historical Data Dominator does not support receiving first downs, so I don't know of a source to go further back than 2002.

By the way, I think this data supports my earlier claim that Gates is the best receiving TE in history.

That's a pretty interesting list. Certainly speaks well for Gates, but it really speaks well for Gronk. The drop off from #1 Gronk, to #2 Gates is bigger than than drop off from Gates to #16 Ed Dickson. 

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12 minutes ago, travdogg said:

That's a pretty interesting list. Certainly speaks well for Gates, but it really speaks well for Gronk. The drop off from #1 Gronk, to #2 Gates is bigger than than drop off from Gates to #16 Ed Dickson. 

Agreed. If Gronk can play and stay mostly healthy for a few more seasons, he will have a legit case for #1 on this list. It’s just hard to overlook how many more games and seasons Gonzo and Gates played at this point. 

Or maybe I’m under ranking him even now. Without looking, I assume he has more postseason success than those I ranked above him. 

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1 hour ago, Just Win Baby said:

I realized Data Dominator has receiving first downs, and it goes back to 2002. From 2002-2018, here are the top 10 TEs in receiving first downs:

  1. 656 Gates
  2. 648 Gonzalez
  3. 634 Witten
  4. 413 Olsen
  5. 406 Graham
  6. 400 Gronk
  7. 346 Heath Miller
  8. 334 Shockey
  9. 323 Owen Daniels
  10. 319 Vernon Davis

So Witten was #3, with a huge gap between him and #4. As I suspected, though, his percentage of receptions that resulted in first downs was much lower. Among TEs who had at least 300 targets from 2002-2018, here is the list of guys ahead of Witten:

  1. 76.78% Rob Gronkowski
  2. 68.69% Antonio Gates
  3. 67.43% Owen Daniels
  4. 67.00% Jimmy Graham
  5. 65.61% Travis Kelce
  6. 65.59% Tony Gonzalez
  7. 65.23% Tony Scheffler
  8. 64.39% Scott Chandler
  9. 63.38% Jared Cook
  10. 62.24% Dustin Keller
  11. 62.20% Greg Olsen
  12. 61.34% Billy Miller
  13. 61.10% Alge Crumpler
  14. 61.07% Anthony Fasano
  15. 61.06% Jeremy Shockey
  16. 61.05% Ed Dickson
  17. 60.04% Todd Heap
  18. 60.00% Dallas Clark
  19. 59.73% Zach Ertz
  20. 59.64% Jermichael Finley
  21. 59.13% Ben Watson
  22. 59.13% Eric Ebron
  23. 58.82% Coby Fleener
  24. 58.79% Brent Celek
  25. 58.74% Chris Cooley
  26. 58.64% Heath Miller
  27. 58.64% Kellen Winslow Jr
  28. 58.37% Visanthe Shiancoe
  29. 57.94% Marcedes Lewis
  30. 57.79% Desmond Clark
  31. 57.21% Jerramy Stevens
  32. 57.08% Julius Thomas
  33. 56.65% L.J. Smith
  34. 56.53% Jordan Reed
  35. 55.75% Jordan Cameron
  36. 55.67% Vernon Davis
  37. 55.03% Jason Witten

Not impressive at all for Witten. There are a lot of pretty average TEs on that list ahead of him, and most of them did not have QB play as strong as Witten did, given he played with Romo for more than half of his career.

Unfortunately, Historical Data Dominator does not support receiving first downs, so I don't know of a source to go further back than 2002.

By the way, I think this data supports my earlier claim that Gates is the best receiving TE in history.

That was great, BRAVO~~~~~~~~

Witten a first ballot HOFer will have t work.

 

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I am looking for my TOP 10 still. came into this a bit...????

TE;s keep popping in my head....Bob Trumpy?

 

Edited by ZenoRazon

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3 minutes ago, Just Win Baby said:

Agreed. If Gronk can play and stay mostly healthy for a few more seasons, he will have a legit case for #1 on this list. It’s just hard to overlook how many more games and seasons Gonzo and Gates played at this point. 

Or maybe I’m under ranking him even now. Without looking, I assume he has more postseason success than those I ranked above him. 

Oddly enough, Gronk(3 rings) has played exactly 16 playoff games, and in those 16 games he has 81-1163-14.4-12. His 16 game regular season averages are 72-1094-15.1-11

For comparisons sake, Gonzalez only played in 7 playoff games in his career, and if expanded to 16 games would have had 68-654-9.5-9, while his regular season average was 78-896-11.4-6

Gates 68-720-10.6-2 per 16(12 played, 2/12 after 2013) for the playoffs 64-803-12.4-8 regular season.

Witten 90-972-10.8-2 per 16(8 played) 77-833-10.8-4 regular season

Sharpe(3 rings) 55-723-13.1-3 per 16(18 played) 64-789-12.3-4 regular season

Jackson(1 ring) 62-1027-16.4-7 per 16(13 played) 54-656-12.0-6 regular season

Kelce 88-1132-12.9-5 per 16(6 played) 82-1048-12.8-6 regular season

Coates(1 ring with 2000 Ravens) 37-376-10.0-1 per 16 (11 played) 50-563-11.1-5 regular season

So of the modern era guys(last 30 years)   Jackson stepped up big in the playoffs, Gronk, Witten, Sharpe, Kelce were about the same, Gonzalez took a slight step back, Gates and Coates took big steps back.

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Witten vs Gates

Pro Bowls

Witten 11*********

Gates 8

All Pro

Witten 2

Gates 3***********

Receptions

Witten  1152****************

Gates 955

Yards

Witten 12448********************

Gates  11811

Average

Witten 10.8

Gates 12.4**************

TD

Witten 68

Gates  116************************

1000 yard seasons

Witten 4********************

Gates  2

plus 80 catch seasons

Witten 6******************

Gates 2

 

I got Witten 5 Gates 3

There isn't really anything there that screams that either one was dramatically better. So in any rankings they have to be real close to each other.

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Usually I'm in threads like this touting Coates but this time I'm not seeing Shannon Sharpe. 

Jeremy Shockey's first two or three years should have changed the game. He would catch it, turn, and take someone on. It was so mano y mano brutish, so "good luck to the lil guy(DB)" and ohh I just loved watching it. I've never seen a TE get an offense as fired up as he could with one play. Coughlin or Fassel (I forget) did not want him doing this anymore as it risked injury. It also took away his "fire" and he was never the same. I don't think he can be on a list with so few years of wow play; when you get to RBs it'll be too hard to make a top 10

 

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I am sure he will make the Hall of Fame because the media loves him, but I rarely watched Jason Witten and thought I was watching an all-time player.  He was durable though and played for a long time, enabling him to rack up a lot of catches and yards (but never managed to be much of a TD scorer).   He is like the TE version of Jerome Bettis (a very good player who played long enough to compile tons of stats). 

On the flip side, Gronk, Gonzo and Gates all often wowed me. 

 

Edited by Ghost Rider

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On 2/8/2019 at 12:54 PM, Just Win Baby said:

My list:

  1. Gonzalez
  2. Mackey
  3. Gates
  4. Casper
  5. Ditka
  6. Gronk
  7. Winslow
  8. Sharpe
  9. Witten
  10. Newsome

Kelce is right there and will push into the list very soon barring an unexpected turn in his career.

Great list......and Mackey should be no lower than 2nd all-time.  They don't call it the "John Mackey Award" for the best TE for nothing.

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6 hours ago, ZenoRazon said:

Witten vs Gates

Pro Bowls

Witten 11*********

Gates 8

All Pro

Witten 2

Gates 3***********

Receptions

Witten  1152****************

Gates 955

Yards

Witten 12448********************

Gates  11811

Average

Witten 10.8

Gates 12.4**************

TD

Witten 68

Gates  116************************

1000 yard seasons

Witten 4********************

Gates  2

plus 80 catch seasons

Witten 6******************

Gates 2

 

I got Witten 5 Gates 3

There isn't really anything there that screams that either one was dramatically better. So in any rankings they have to be real close to each other.

Your list of comparison points is incomplete and should also include:

  • Career first downs - edge Gates (posted earlier)
  • Percentage of receptions for first downs - edge Gates (posted earlier)
  • Number of 10+ TD seasons - Gates 4, Witten 0 - edge Gates
  • Career Approximate Value - Gates 127, Witten 114 - edge Gates
  • Career NFL passer rating when targeted - Gates 110.6, Witten 98.5 - edge Gates

In addition, not all of these various statistics are equal. TDs are much more important than receptions, for example, and Gates has 48 more... 70% more.

You are the one who initially brought up first downs and made a claim about how good Witten was at moving the chains but I later showed that 36 other TEs have been more effective at that just since 2002, and Gates was much better at it.

IMO Witten deserves to be in the top 10 because he was a good receiver combined with being an excellent blocker and being very durable, but Gates was very clearly a better receiving TE.

Edited by Just Win Baby
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19 hours ago, Just Win Baby said:

Your list of comparison points is incomplete and should also include:

  • Career first downs - edge Gates (posted earlier)
  • Percentage of receptions for first downs - edge Gates (posted earlier)
  • Number of 10+ TD seasons - Gates 4, Witten 0 - edge Gates
  • Career Approximate Value - Gates 127, Witten 114 - edge Gates
  • Career NFL passer rating when targeted - Gates 110.6, Witten 98.5 - edge Gates

In addition, not all of these various statistics are equal. TDs are much more important than receptions, for example, and Gates has 48 more... 70% more.

You are the one who initially brought up first downs and made a claim about how good Witten was at moving the chains but I later showed that 36 other TEs have been more effective at that just since 2002, and Gates was much better at it.

IMO Witten deserves to be in the top 10 because he was a good receiver combined with being an excellent blocker and being very durable, but Gates was very clearly a better receiving TE.

More yards, more receptions, more 1000 yard seasons, more big catch seasons, more pro bowls, all Witten. And it's real obvious Rivers is better than Romo.

It's real close.

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57 minutes ago, ZenoRazon said:

More yards, more receptions, more 1000 yard seasons, more big catch seasons, more pro bowls, all Witten. And it's real obvious Rivers is better than Romo.

It's real close.

I would strongly disagree that Rivers is some big advantage over Romo. Personally, I think Gates>Witten is a bigger margin than Rivers>Romo. 

I feel like you are following less important stats here. Gates led the league in yards more than Witten, TD's more than Witten. Gates was arguably the best TE in the NFL for a stretch, that was never the case for Witten. 

Using 03-17 as their comparable career template, year by year:

Gates wins: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010*, 2011, 2014, 2015 

Witten wins: 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017

*Gates was on pace for the best season in TE history when he got hurt, so even though Witten had more yards, Gates gets that year for me.

That is a 9-6 head to head win for Gates. His peaks were also much higher in both yards and TD's by a very wide margin. 

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So when talking about TE's why do we minimize their blocking?  We talk about them in terms of receiving stats only, when in reality, blocking is a huge part of what they do

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