What Happened to the NFL Tight End
(Nick Wass/ 2018 The Associated Press.)

What happened to the NFL tight end? Did they all go extinct? 2020 has been horrible for tight ends besides the usual top three guys in Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, and George Kittle. This year’s TE’s have been so bad that Evan Engram made the Pro Bowl. What is happening?

What Happened to the NFL Tight End? There’s Something in The Water.

A number of factors go into why the NFL TE has gotten much worse. Let’s look at the notable TE’s in the league right now. There’s Rob Gronkowski, Mark Andrews, and Noah Fant. Gronk is old and has nothing left in the tank. Andrews’ production took a big dip this year mostly because of Lamar Jackson’s struggling season. Fant has the ability however, he lacks the quarterback play to truly shine.

Look at what made the Pro Bowl this year out of the NFC. Evan Engram had 570 yards, 54 catches, and only one receiving touchdown. Ew! Are you serious? In what world is that Pro Bowl level. However, this year it seems to be the case. It’s truly a travesty and a disgrace that these are Pro Bowl numbers.

A Mix of Injuries and Bad Production Has Doomed the Tight End Position.

Even Hockenson hasn’t done anything spectacular this year. TJ had 60 catches, 600 yards, and 5 touchdowns. Compared to Engram those numbers are great. But, still not a Pro Bowl level. That’s how low the bar has been set. These are terrible seaons for any TE, but because the other players are just so horrendous this is considered a good season.

However, I get Kittle missed almost the whole year. This is what we are left with. Two players barely cracking 500 yards and making the Pro Bowl. Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez are crying somewhere. The once mighty and powerful, match-up nightmare, of a position has faded into despair and agony.

Could it be COVID or something else? What I do know is there is hope. There’s a very special player in Kyle Pitts in the draft this year and maybe he’s the chosen one. Maybe he restores balance to the Force.