We have taken a look at several different positions in the AFC North throughout the last few weeks, this week we look at the tight end position. While the AFC North doesn’t have the stars like Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez they do have talent. Here is a list of the top-four tight ends and what we see in them for the coming season.Pittsburgh Steelers: Heath Miller
During his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers Heath Miller has been one of the most complete tight ends in the NFL and also one of the most underrated in the league. Since being drafted by the Steelers in the 2005 NFL Draft, Miller has been the definition of consistent. In those seven years, he has hauled in 337 receptions for 3,864 yards and 31 touchdowns.
He turns 30 during the season this year, but that does not look to stop Miller, who in the last two seasons has caught more than 50 catches and two touchdowns. Miller is hands down the AFC North’s most well-rounded tight-end. He has been a consistent target for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, as he was third on the team in receptions last season.
Like fine wine, Miller seems to just get better with age as he continues to be a great blocker and receiver. Barring injury we do not see Miller slowing down this season. It’s even been rumored that new offensive coordinator Todd Haley wants to include the tight end core even more than before in the offense.
If Heath Miller is underrated than this next tight end is the most underused. Gresham led the AFC North tight ends in receptions last season with 56, and touchdowns with six, but there were at least five other tight ends with 79 or more receptions last season.
Gresham hasn’t lived up to his first round potential and, well that’s the main reason we have him listed at number two. He is often injured, but still gets better every year, that is no easy feat. If he stays healthy this year he should be a nice weapon alongside A.J Green.
Ed Dickson has everything you could want in a tight end, but consistent. Last season he caught fewer than three passes in half the games he played. While his size and speed do make up for the consistency issues, more often than not it causes head scratching moments for the Ravens offense. Ironically, the Ravens view the idea of pairing him with Dennis Pitta, as a poor man’s version of the New England Patriots dynamic combo of Gronkowski & Hernandez.
We are really trying not to pick on the Cleveland offense too much, but after last season, it is just too hard not to. There is an exception to that and his name is Evan Moore. Moore finally played his first full season for the Browns in his three-year career. During that season, he started four games, catching 32 passes and tying a team high four touchdown receptions.
Moore is big and athletic which makes him a good target for Browns quarterbacks, whoever they decided that may be. Honestly, he could become the biggest playmaker on the Browns. We are not saying he will have Calvin Johnson numbers but he could record a 60-70 catch season and we expect a breakout year for him with the Browns.
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