1) Antonio Gates – This isn’t even close, Gates puts up lower top tier, upper second tier receiver #’s as a TE. Nobody else is even close to matching his skill or production taking him in the 3rd or 4th round is not a reach at all, but even though after Gates there is a big drop-off, TE is as deep as it has been in years, so don’t feel like you have to get him.
2) Vernon Davis – Ok i might be reaching here but part of why I have him # 2 is because of how much later you can get him after Gates and other TE’s that have already come off the board. He is a much better value pick than Tony Gonzalez, who typically gets picked way too early. Last year injuries were the only thing holding Davis back he has been healthy all off season and has been dominating in training camp, look for him to become Alex Smith’s best friend.
3) Chris Cooley – There is no doubt Jason Campbell is gonna feel more comfortable looking to Cooley than anyone else. Cooley was the 5th highest scoring TE last year and Mark Brunell was his QB for a large chunk of it, Campbell should utilize him even more this year.
4) Alge Crumpler – If Vick was still playing Crumpler would be the # 2. Even when defenses knew he was the only passing threat, they still had to worry about Vick’s speed so much that it made it hard to focus on anyone but Vick, now defenses will have to start worrying about Joey Harrington and something tells me he won’t be keeping defensive coordinators up late at night like Vick did, but Crumpler is still his only real target and will be a solid pick up as his stock is falling even though it really shouldn’t.
5) Todd Heap – You sensing a theme yet ? Yes most of the best TE’s are on teams where they are the main receivers, if a team has a lot of great receivers the TE will often be an after thought. This is no different. Heap is the Ravens best receiver and Mcnair loves to use his TE, only problem last year they were way too predictable with it, and Mcnair doesn’t have Vick’s speed to keep D’s off balance nor does Heap possess Gates like talent to be able fight off double teams.
6) Kellen Winslow – Big talent….bigger mouth, if he can shut up stay off a motorcycle and stop comparing himself to a soldier he should be a very effective weapon for either Charlie Frye or Brady Quinn, my biggest question is how long is Cleveland’s D gonna be on the field…..I’m guessing @ 65 – 70 % of the games.
7) Tony Gonzalez – I’m really trying my hardest not to have any Chiefs on my roster and while he is still a top TE he is clearly on his way down and that Chiefs offense is gonna get knocked down a few notches as a whole this year.
8 Jeremy Shockey – If he learns to play in control he could be what the Giants drafted him to be, but the reckless way he plays doesn’t help him or Eli. Instead of lowering his shoulder for a 3 yard pick-up, step out of bounds maybe he could make it through the season healthy, run crisp clean routes and find the soft spot in defenses, but no he has to be running wild out there. Of course his biggest problem is still who his QB is, as long as Eli is the QB I don’t like any Giant weapons as big time producers this year.
9) Randy McMichael – People have been expecting him to break out for so long that they have given up on him, not me. This year he finally has a real QB and he will fit right into the St. Louis offense and be a big contributor right away.
10) L.J. Smith – Mcnabb is back and will utilize him more than Garcia did. Expect big #’s this year, like i keep saying the Eagles love to throw the ball and Smith definitely reaps the benefits.
11) Owen Daniels – Great sleeper,I’m keep seeing him go undrafted, he will be a top 10 TE this year.
12) Greg Olsen – Another great sleeper, all you heard all off season is how much Grosman will love him and utilize him and he could sure use all the help he can get.
13) Jason Witten – Touchdown’s dropped a bit last year, but mostly because they were looking for it, expect him to regroup and bounce back this year.
14) Heath Miller – If the Steelers are gonna open up the offense, they are gonna need this guy to step up and be Ben’s security blanket, I’m not so sure he can carry that weight though.
15) Chris Baker – You might this this is a homer pick, and maybe it is a little but Baker is always forgotten about but he shouldn’t be. The Jets have always had him block more but his receiving skills can’t be denied. Expect the Jets to look to him more as Defenses start to focus on both Coles and Cothcery this year.
16) Ben Watson – If the Patriots didn’t sign 73 different receivers I’d put him much higher, but they did so I won’t.
17) Dallas Clark – Peyton Manning is his QB….that is all.