Matt Williamson of ESPN's Scouts Inc. ranks his top five tight ends in the NFL and he puts New England's Rob Gronkowski in the No. 1 spot (link here, Insider content).
"To me, there are three elite tight ends in the NFL right now. But while Gronkowski might be slightly less athletic and dangerous than [Jermichael] Finley or [Jimmy] Graham, he is far better as a blocker in the run and pass games. And we can't forget that blocking is a fundamental part of playing tight end," Williamson writes.
Williamson leads into the piece with this thought:
The NFL has become a passing league and athletic, receiving tight ends are in vogue because stopping such players is extremely difficult. Put cornerbacks on them? Tight ends will run them over. Safeties can't keep up. Linebackers? Forget about it.