NFL 2017: Tight Ends on the Rise
NFL 2017: Tight Ends on the Rise

NFL tight ends have been performing at historic levels and this season should be no different.

Last season, tight ends recorded the second-most catches (2,494) and receiving yards (27,340) in a single season for the position.

 

Single-Season Tight End Records - Catches

Season Catches
(Source: NFL)
20152,518
20162,494
20122,401
20132,384
20112,341

 

Single-Season Tight End Records - Yards

Season Yards
(Source: NFL)
201527,553
201627,340
201327,284
201127,080
201226,197

 

Last season, four tight ends -- Baltimore's Dennis Pitta (86), Kansas City's Travis Kelce (85), Minnesota's Kyle Rudolph (83) and Carolina's Greg Olsen (80) -- reached the 80-reception mark, tied for the most tight ends with at least 80 receptions in a single season in NFL history.

In 2016, Olsen recorded 1,073 receiving yards and became the first tight end in NFL history to record three consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards.

Los Angeles Chargers tight end Antonio Gates had seven receiving touchdowns in 2016 and has 111 career touchdown catches, tying Tony Gonzalez for the most by a tight end in NFL history.

Gates brought his career receiving yardage total to 11,192, becoming the third tight end in NFL history to reach 11,000 career receiving yards, joining Gonzalez (15,127) and Dallas' Jason Witten (11,888).

The importance of the tight end position was evident in this year's NFL Draft as well. Three tight ends -- O.J. Howard (Tampa Bay, No. 19), Evan Engram (New York Giants, No. 23) and David Njoku (Cleveland, No. 29) -- were chosen in the first round, tied for the most first-round tight ends (1970 and 2002) since the advent of the draft in 1967.

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