Detroit Lions at the bottom of the NFC North tight end power rankings

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The tight end is a difficult position to nail down. With running backs and wide receivers, there is a wall of statistics to define a player. For fantasy purposes, tight ends are simple. Receptions, catches and touchdowns are the stats that score, but that is not all a tight end brings to the table.

A great tight end is one of the greatest mixtures of power, agility, speed, and quickness in professional sports. From Rob Gronkowski to Mike Ditka, the position has always been one that attracted freaks of nature.

Many modern tight ends are failed basketball players. When Antonio Gates successfully made that transition for the Chargers, a new era dawned in the NFL. The position has become more specialized, with few throwback players left in the league. Now there are receivers and blockers, rarely both.

I have always been a sucker for throwback players, and that is going to show through as you go through this list. If a tight end can only do half the job, he’s not a great tight end, he’s a big wide receiver.

The NFC North has a solid mixture of mindsets for assembling tight end groups. One team has made the unit a throwaway group that will not factor greatly into their plans. Another has taken multiple high-risk shots at greatness. They may sit atop the division for one week and the bottom seven days later.

The number two team has assembled a sturdy group of veteran role players. Those known quantities will be predictable to both teams coaching staffs each week. Finally we have the team with the best player at the position. Behind him, there is some solid young depth, but the team is clearly riding their throwback tight end.

Without further ado: here is the number four tight end group in the NFC North. Nobody can call me a homer today. The Detroit Lions do not fare well in these rankings.