*Every Thursday, Gregg Rosenthal rolls out a random power ranking. Just because. *
We didn't rank players like Fred Davis who have missed most of the season. We mostly listed just one tight end from each team.
We thought about putting Gronkowski on a tier unto himself. His menacing blocking went to another level and he was just as unstoppable in the red zone despite some injuries. Graham hasn't put up the same numbers as a year ago because he's had to chip block more often.
Gonzalez gets more single coverage than ever because of his talented wide receivers, and he knows just how to take advantage despite diminishing foot speed. Davis' offensive numbers have suffered, but he's a very good blocker. If he was in the New England Patriots' offense, for instance, numbers would follow.
Witten leads tight ends in receptions and receiving yards, even if he doesn't break many big plays. He's still an effective blocker. It's amazing that Witten and Gonzalez have hardly declined.
Put Miller and Hernandez together and you'd have the perfect tight end. Miller is knocked slightly for his receiving, but he is seventh in yards among tight ends this year. Hernandez runs routes like a wide receiver and carries the ball like a running back. He just needs to stay healthy. He's willingly picked up some blocking duties with Gronkowski out.
Daniels is the perfect fit for the Houston Texans' offense. Gresham has a great pair of hands and is a good red-zone threat. He's caught at least three passes for 25 straight games -- the third-longest streak in the NFL. All of Gates' injuries have caught up with him. He's also dropped more passes than usual. Allen looks like a future Pro Bowler. He can do a little bit of everything. He's powerful and a great receiver. He was taken after Coby Fleener, but Allen looks like the better player.
Olsen is enjoying the best season of his career in Carolina. Celek finds a way to top 600 yards no matter what's around him in Philadelphia. Rudolph isn't exactly explosive, but he has the potential to be a complete tight end.
Lewis is a terrific blocker, but he's way too unreliable as a receiving option. We'd love to see Keller in a different offense. Finley is way better in theory than reality. His long-simmering "potential" has turned into mediocrity since his lost season in 2010.
Chandler is a favorite of Buffalo Bills fans that don't have enough better players to cheer for. Bennett has revived his career with the New York Giants. Myers is enjoying one of the most random fantasy seasons of all time. Pitta has distanced himself from Baltimore Ravens teammate Ed Dickson, but still leaves us wanting more. Pettigrew drops too many passes. Miller is an underrated blocker and puzzle piece for the Seattle Seahawks, even if he's underpaid. Cook shows how routine it is for players to top 500 yards now. Walker is a devastating blocker and could be used more in the passing game.
We'll see you next week, with our final quarterbacks tiers of the regular season.