AFC East Position Comparison: Tight Ends

Marc Serota

With free agency winding down and the draft still a month away, we are going to take a look through the AFC East, comparing, and ranking, each position. On day three of this series, we look at the tight ends.

We are on to day three of the players by position comparison across the AFC East. We are now on to the division's tight ends.

AFC East Position Comparison: Quarterbacks Running Backs

1. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots - Gronkowski was named to his second straight Pro Bowl this past season, despite a broken arm and only playing in 11 games. Is there any doubt that he is the class of the field right now?

2012 Stats:

Games Starts Rec Yards TDs
11 11 55 790 11

2. Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots - Sure. Of course. The Patriots lose the top tight end to a broken arm, so they have to settle by playing the second best tight end in the division. It's rough to be a Patriots fan sometimes, isn't it? Hernandez missed games due to an ankle sprain this year, but was there when Gronkowski went down, and the Patriots never really missed a beat.

2012 Stats:

Games Starts Rec Yards TDs
10 10 51 483 5

3. Dustin Keller, Miami Dolphins - That looks funny; Miami Dolphins next to Keller's name. But, the Dolphins jumped up on the list with the signing of Keller, and, making it that much better, knocked the New York Jets completely off the list. Keller joining the Dolphins gives second year quarterback Ryan Tannehill a passing catching, seam threat. If Keller can return to form after groin and ankle injuries forced him to miss time for the first time in his career, he can move up on this list.

2012 Stats:

Games Starts Rec Yards TDs
8 5 28 317 2

4. Scott Chandler, Buffalo Bills - Chandler could probably be tied with Keller in the third spot, but I downgraded him based on the absolute lack of a quarterback to get him the ball right now. Of course, Chandler also keeps our streak of injured tight ends going. He had to have ACL surgery after the Dolphins game in Week 16, and it's not clear if he will be ready before the season opener this year.

2012 Stats:

Games Starts Rec Yards TDs
15 13 43 571 6

5. Charles Clay, Miami Dolphins - Clay being on this list is less about how good Clay is and more about how much the drop behind him is to the rest of the AFC East tight ends. Clay is a better fullback than he is a tight end right now. The team does see success when they can get him the ball, and he does come up with some big catches occasionally, but he's not exactly tearing it up as a receiver. As he heads into his third NFL season, his second with any sort of work as a tight end, he could take a step forward.

2012 Stats:

Games Starts Rec Yards TDs
14 9 18 212 2
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