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2023 Rookie Tight End Rankings, Ideal Landing Spots

2023 Tight End Rookie Rankings: In a class with weaker wide receivers, teams may opt to draft the larger pass catchers this NFL Draft.
2023 rookie tight end rankings

The 2023 NFL Draft has been knocked as a weaker class in many positions. It lacks the top end talent for wide receiver, edge rusher, and offensive tackle which are three premium positions at the next level. Luckily for NFL teams and fantasy football fanatics, this class is loaded at running back and tight end. For teams searching for stout blockers or pass catchers, there’s something for everyone. Without further ado, let’s dive into the 2023 rookie tight end rankings.

2023 Rookie Tight End Rankings, Ideal Landing Spots

1. Darnell Washington

“If Godzilla put on pads, he would struggle to tackle Darnell Washington” is a direct quote from the fantasy football spin on Darnell Washington. For real football, he is head and shoulders above (literally) the competition as a blocker. He also brings an elite athletic profile, boasting absurd numbers from the combine. All things considered, his production profile from college is not impressive. But he played in a run first offense behind the number one 2024 tight end prospect in the nation. Above all, Washington is too big for corners and too fast for linebackers. For that reason, he tops the 2023 rookie tight end rankings.

Ceiling: Rob Gronkowski

Floor: Moves to left tackle

Team Fits: Los Angeles Chargers, Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions

Darnell Washington Draft Profile

2. Michael Mayer

Mayer feels like he was pulled out of a 2005 textbook for how to play tight end. He possesses prototypical size and knows how to find the soft spot in the zone. Notre Dame utilized Mayer as the focal point of the offense, and he rewarded them with 180 receptions over three years. At this point he is the safest tight end option in the draft. Contrary to Washington who is an athletic anomaly, Mayer is just fine as an athlete. He will not win with elite speed or explosion at the next level but has the requisite blocking skills to contribute to an NFL team immediately.

Ceiling: Jason Witten

Floor: Really old Jason Witten

Team Fits: Cincinatti Bengals, Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs

Michael Mayer Draft Profile

3. Dalton Kincaid

Boy oh boy, Kincaid is smooth. He looks like a wide receiver when he’s running routes and has a basketball background that shows on tape. The former walk-on had a long journey to the NFL and should be an immediate upgrade for teams looking for a move tight end vice an inline option. His biggest weakness is his blocking ability, but he displays an effort in the run game that coaches will appreciate.

Ceiling: Zach Ertz

Floor: Hunter Henry

Team Fits: Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys

Dalton Kincaid Draft Profile

4. Sam Laporta

There’s just something in the water in Iowa. Laporta was the only pass catcher people can name from Iowa, and is a problem for defenders with the ball in his hands. Given how horrid Iowa’s offense has been during his tenure, his five receiving touchdowns felt like a miracle. His ceiling might not be as high as other prospects, but he is a base hit for teams late day two or early day three.

Ceiling: Mike Gesicki

Floor: Tyler Eifert

Team Fits: Houston Texans, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Commanders

Sam Laporta Draft Profile

5. Luke Musgrave

If Luke Musgrave were healthy, he might top the 2023 rookie tight end rankings. He earned himself a lot of money at the 2023 Senior Bowl and is a top tier route runner. Due to some medical concerns, he could find himself falling down the board. He has received full medical clearance on his knee, and has the potential to be the best tight end in a loaded class.

Ceiling: Travis Kelce (Yes, he’s that good)

Floor: O.J. Howard (Yes, he’s that risky)

Team Fits: Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints

Luke Musgrave Draft Profile


Main Image: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports


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