Analysis

NFL Summer Games, tight end: Rob Gronkowski has no equal

American football isn't an Olympic sport -- yet. But with the world's best athletes set to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, we thought we'd get in on the fun by holding a medal competition at nine key positions. NFL Media analysts ranked the top three players at each spot, with points assigned accordingly -- three points for each first-place ranking, two for each second-place ranking and one for each third-place ranking. The points were totaled, resulting in final gold-, silver- and bronze-medal finishers. Below, you'll find the results -- and each analyst's individual ballot -- for tight end.

The Tight End Podium

GOLD MEDAL:Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots (63 total points)

SILVER MEDAL:Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers (28)

BRONZE MEDAL:Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins (12)

Analyst Ballots

Gil Brandt: 1) Rob Gronkowski 2) Greg Olsen 3) Jason Witten

Gronkowski is like Jesse Owens -- almost unstoppable. The Bears made a mistake when they traded away Olsen; he's finally getting his due in Carolina as one of the top tight ends in the league. Witten has been doing it a long time and is probably the most complete tight end, as far as catching and blocking are concerned.

Willie McGinest: 1) Rob Gronkowski 2) Greg Olsen 3) Delanie Walker

Gronk can't be stopped one-on-one and is one of the best blockers. Olsen's elusiveness and route-running ability allow him to make the tough catches. I believe Walker is underrated in this league. All three of these guys had 1,000-yard seasons in 2015, and that should happen again this year.

Gregg Rosenthal: 1) Rob Gronkowski 2) Medals forfeited 3) No one else is close

Gronk is so far ahead of the rest of the field at tight end that it's an insult to give anyone else a medal. He is the strongest blocker, makes big plays and has incredible hands. Step it up, other tight ends.

Charley Casserly: 1) Rob Gronkowski 2) Jordan Reed 3) Greg Olsen

Gronkowski is the best TE because he has the rare combination of exceptional blocking ability and receiving talent. Jordan Reed gets the best separation of any TE in the NFL. Olsen has been remarkably consistent.

Nate Burleson: 1) Rob Gronkowski 2) Tyler Eifert 3) Travis Kelce

Gronk is a receiver in J.J. Watt's body; this guy can't be stopped. Eifert and Kelce are athletic and really have made names for themselves.

Elliot Harrison: 1) Rob Gronkowski 2) Greg Olsen 3) Jordan Reed

Gronk is the easiest choice in this entire Summer Games exercise. Olsen is as dependable as any player in the league this side of Joe Thomas. Here's to Reed staying healthy and going over 1,000 yards in 2016.

Michael Robinson: 1) Rob Gronkowski 2) Jimmy Graham 3) Greg Olsen

I think we're all wondering who can stop Gronk. His size and playmaking ability allow him to overpower his opponents. When Graham is healthy, he is a force to be reckoned with. Olsen proved why he belongs on this list with his 2015 performance.

Marcas Grant: 1) Rob Gronkowski 2) Greg Olsen 3) Delanie Walker

So, yeah ... Gronk. But the gap is closing, with Olsen posting back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. With Jimmy Graham's return uncertain, Walker gets the final spot, thanks in part to his 217 receptions over the past three seasons -- third-most among tight ends.

Shaun O'Hara: 1) Rob Gronkowski 2) Jimmy Graham 3) Greg Olsen

Gronkowski is Sasquatch, and I don't think he gets enough credit for how athletic he is, considering his size. Graham is a mismatch for any defense, while Olsen is Mr. Reliable.

Bucky Brooks: 1) Rob Gronkowski 2) Greg Olsen 3) Jordan Reed

Gronkowski is the gold standard for the position, having posted 65 receiving touchdowns during his first six seasons. (And that doesn't even count his nine touchdowns in 10 postseason games.) The big-bodied playmaker is a matchup nightmare on the perimeter with the size to overwhelm defensive backs and the athleticism to leave linebackers in the dust.

Conor Orr: 1) Rob Gronkowski 2) Greg Olsen 3) Jordan Reed

This is the equivalent of Usain Bolt in the 100-meter, which, sadly, we will not be able to see this year. Anyway, it's not even close.

Solomon Wilcots: 1) Rob Gronkowski 2) Tyler Eifert 3) Jordan Reed

Gronk easily wins the gold here, and nobody would argue -- not even the other two guys on this list. Eifert is hard to match up with, while Reed is an ascending tight end and could be the centerpiece of the Redskins' passing attack, making all of their talented receivers even better.

Dave Dameshek: 1) Rob Gronkowski 2) N/A 3) Greg Olsen

Gronk's the best to ever play his position, and so much better than the rest of his peer group that we've left a space between 1 and 3. (But, for the record, Olsen is dynamite.)

Ike Taylor: 1) Rob Gronkowski 2) Antonio Gates 3) Greg Olsen

Gronk completely takes over games, as his size and ability make him unstoppable. He easily takes the cake here, but Gates and Olsen are two more admirable players at this position.

Adam Schein: 1) Rob Gronkowski 2) Jordan Reed 3) Greg Olsen

It's Gronk's world, and we're all just living in it.

Alex Gelhar: 1) Rob Gronkowski 2) Greg Olsen 3) Jordan Reed

Gronk is not only the best tight end in the league, but he could be the best of all time. Olsen has been one of the league's most consistent and dangerous options for years. Reed narrowly beats out Tyler Eifert in the "who can stay healthy" consolation bracket for the bronze.

Brian Baldinger: 1) Rob Gronkowski 2) Greg Olsen 3) Tyler Eifert

Gronk is in a category all by himself; he's impossible to defend. Olsen and Eifert are hot right now, and what sets them apart from some other tight ends is their blocking ability.

Kevin Patra: 1) Rob Gronkowski 2) Jordan Reed 3) Greg Olsen

There is Gronk. And then there is everybody else.

Eric Davis: 1) Rob Gronkowski 2) Greg Olsen 3) Antonio Gates

Gronk is leaps and bounds ahead of every other player at this position. Olsen is Jason Witten 2.0, as there have been times where he is Cam's No. 1 receiver, and he can block. Gates gets the lifetime achievement award. If you have a spot on a team, you put him on the roster, because he's earned it.

Jamie Dukes: 1) Rob Gronkowski 2) Jimmy Graham 3) Greg Olsen

Gronkowski has the biggest catch radius of any player in the NFL, maybe in the history of the game. Graham and Olsen are good players, but no one compares to Gronk. I wish I could go four-deep in this category, because Antonio Gates deserves to be here, as well.

Adam Rank: 1) Rob Gronkowski 2) Greg Olsen 3) Jordan Reed

May I go ahead and give Gronk all three medals? Because it's really not that close. If this were an actual Olympic sports competition, it would be canceled, because there is no competitive balance. Kind of like Olympic softball. The one thing that troubles me is that Gronk doesn't get enough love for his all-around game. Everybody knows what a great receiving threat he is, but dude can throw it around as a blocker, as well. Gronk makes me wonder, too ... The Texans love to use J.J. Watt as a receiver down near the goal line. I would imagine Gronk could be put on the field in passing downs on the defensive side to pressure to quarterback. He would at least eat up a double-team, right? But don't do that. It's a crazy idea.

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