Today’s pass-happy league has the tight ends of yesteryear no longer in the spotlight. The gritty, physical tight ends with more pancake blocks than receptions aren’t nearly as coveted as they used to be in the NFL, but oh do they still exist.
Here’s a list of the NFL’s top-five run-blocking tight ends in 2018.
[Editor’s Note: The list below is comprised of the highest-graded run-blocking tight ends with at least 100 run-blocking snaps in the regular season. All EDGE and ELITE subscribers can go beyond the top-five and see the whole list. Subscribe today!]
1. Trey Burton, Chicago Bears
Burton caught 54-of-73 targets for 569 yards and six touchdowns in his first year with the Bears, but his best efforts were in the run game. He earned three single-game run-blocking grades above 85.0 and finished the year with the highest overall run-blocking grade (79.5) among qualifying tight ends.
2. James O'Shaughnessy, Jacksonville Jaguars
Though he’s currently on the open market as an unrestricted free agent, O’Shaugnessy should find a home with a team in need of a blocking tight end sooner rather than later. He earned four single-game run-blocking grades above 75.0 en route to an impressive 78.3 run-blocking grade on the year.
3. Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts
Injuries plagued Doyle’s 2018 campaign with the Colts, but he still logged 148 run-blocking snaps and earned a career-high 73.7 run-blocking grade while doing so. He earned 70.0-plus run-blocking grades in three of the six games he played in this past season.
4. George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
Kittle rewrote the PFF record books with his yards after the catch totals in 2018, burying what was an outstanding run-blocking season for the former Iowa tight end. He earned an impressive 73.3 run-blocking grade on the year, which was an 11.6-point jump from his rookie season.
5. Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles
Goedert’s rookie season was chock full of strong run-blocking efforts, as he earned 65.0-plus run-blocking grades in seven games in 2018. His 72.5 run-blocking grade ranked fifth among qualifiers in 2018 and ranks inside the top 20 among all rookie tight ends in the PFF era (2006-Present).