NFC North rankings: Five best tight ends


Who are the five best tight ends in the NFC North?

In part five of our on-going series breaking down the top players in the NFC North at each position, we take a look at the tight ends.

5. Jared Cook

The Packers signed Cook to a one-year, $2.75 million contract. Right now he’s the #2 tight end behind Richard Rodgers but he has the potential to blossom in the Packers’ offense and surpass Rodgers. Cook has always been perceived as a talented but under-performing player. The Packers have already learned that he’s All-Pro at buttering up his quarterback.

4. Zach Miller

To say Zach Miller’s NFL career got off to a rocky start would be understating things. Miller was drafted by Jacksonville all the way back in 2009 but has only managed to play in parts of three seasons since then, spending three entire seasons on the shelf due to injury. Last year Miller finally stayed healthy and he produced 439 yards and five touchdowns on 39 catches.

3. Richard Rodgers

A third round pick by the Packers in 2014, Rodgers came into his own last year, catching 58 balls for 510 yards and eight touchdowns. Despite his decent numbers, the Packers still went out this offseason and signed Jared Cook. Rodgers is reliable but not particularly athletic.

2. Kyle Rudolph

Rudolph finally managed to stay healthy last year, but his numbers still looked unimpressive considering that he was a second round pick. Rudolph goes in the 2016 season as the #1 tight end but the Vikings also have young, athletic MyCole Pruitt and intriguing 2016 draft pick David Morgan on the roster. In other words, if Rudolph doesn’t start producing like the top-flight tight end he is supposed to be, the Vikings do have other options.

1. Eric Ebron

Ebron got a shot with Detroit last year after Brandon Pettigrew went down to injury and he gave the Lions decent numbers, finishing with 537 yards and five touchdowns on 47 receptions. He put up those numbers in just eight starts. Ebron has a chance to take the next step and become one the league’s best tight ends. There will be lots more balls for guys like Ebron this year after the retirement of Calvin Johnson.

Next: 5 storylines set up by OTAs

Please check out the previous installments in our series where we looked at the North’s top five edge defenders, offensive tackles, wide receivers and safeties.