NFC South TEs are dominant targets

Early in October, I wrote a column about how the NFC South was loaded with talented tight ends.

That hasn’t changed. If anything NFC South teams are putting even more emphasis on their tight ends.

Through seven weeks of the season, there are four NFC South representatives among the six most-targeted tight ends in the NFL. The top two spots are occupied by NFC South players.

New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham has been targeted a league-high 66 times, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He has 45 catches for 674 yards and five touchdowns.

Tampa Bay’s Kellen Winslow is No. 2 with 56 targets. He has 31 catches for 282 yards and a touchdown. Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez is No. 5 with 50 targets. Gonzalez has 35 catches for 380 yards and four touchdowns.

Carolina’s Greg Olsen is No. 6. He’s been targeted 45 times and has 26 catches for 286 yards and three touchdowns. Olsen’s numbers could be higher, but he shares time -- and targets -- with Jeremy Shockey.

Even though he’s not the primary tight end, Shockey still ranks No. 16 with 37 targets. He has 22 catches for 291 yards.