NFC West TE rankings: George Kittle still easily the best

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

In the NFC West, there has been a clear No. 1 tight end for a few seasons. That hasn’t changed. However, there have been changes in the tight end rooms in the division since before last season.

How do the tight ends in the division rank individually?

Check out below.

Listen to the latest from Cards Wire’s Jess Root on his podcast, Rise Up, See Red. Subscribe on Apple podcasts or Spotify.

Latest show:


Previous shows:


and


No. 1: George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kittle is arguably the best tight end in the NFL. He is a dynamic pass catcher and a fantastic blocker. He did not, though, have the best season in 2021.

After missing eight games in 2020, he missed another three this past season. He did end up with 71 catches for 910 yards and six touchdowns, so the per-game production was there.

He is a matchup nightmare, although that is a big reason why the Cardinals drafted linebacker Isaiah Simmons. He is long enough and fast enough to potentially slow Kittle down.

No. 2: Zach Ertz, Arizona Cardinals

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Ertz, despite beginning to decline, still is one of the league’s best pass-catching tight ends. He can run ‘X’ receiver routes and win.

Over the full season, he caught 74 passes for 763 yards and five touchdowns. He had 56 catches in 11 games with the Cardinals and that was good enough to tie a franchise single-season record for receptions by a tight end.

No. 3: Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Higbee is a very solid player who showed flashes of breaking out as a great tight end in 2019. He can both catch passes, evidenced by his 61 receptions last season, and block. He played in 92% of the Rams’ offensive snaps. He is what Maxx Williams is to the Cardinals, only much more production in the passing game.

No. 4: Noah Fant, Seattle Seahawks

John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

Fant was one of the players the Seahawks acquired from the Broncos in the Russell Wilson trade. We will see how he fits in a new offense. Gerald Everett didn’t get to 50 receptions or 500 yards in two seasons with the Seahawks. Fant had 68 yards for 670 yards and four touchdowns last season.

No. 5: Maxx Williams, Arizona Cardinals

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Williams is a dynamic blocker. He was on track for a career season in 2021 before tearing his ACL in Week 5. He hasn’t had more than 16 catches since his rookie season but, assuming he comes back from his knee injury and continues to play at the same level, is a fantastic all-around tight end.

No. 6: Will Dissly, Seattle Seahawks

(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

Dissly looked like he was going to break out in 2019 but then suffered a leg injury. He hasn’t had more than 24 catches in a season and played only 58% of the offensive snaps last season for Seattle, compared to Everett’s 75%.

No. 7: Tyler Kroft, San Francisco 49ers

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Kroft signed with the 49ers this offseason. He had a 42-catch, 400-yard season in 2017. Since then, he has not caught more than 16 catches and has not played more than 11 games in a season. He is a decent player.

Promising rookie: Trey McBride, Arizona Cardinals

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

McBride was drafted in the second round by the Cardinals and is believed to be the clear best tight end of the draft class. The Cardinals are very excited for him and believe he can be as impactful as Maxx Williams for the offense. It’s impossible to know where he should rank right now, although he might already be in the 3-5 range.

1

1