The AFC North has serious talent at the tight end position, with multiple teams possessing a claim to have one of the best in the league at their position.
So let's take a look at each team in the division and try to rank each of them in terms of their talent at tight end. This is not just a ranking of each team's number one tight end, but rather an amalgamation of each team's entire position.
This is one of the easier positions to rank in the division. The Ravens have talented young guys, savvy veterans, and are the deepest at this position in the entire league. Benjamin Watson comes over from the New Orleans Saints after a monster season and while he likely won't hit those statistical highs in Baltimore, he at least provides a sure set of hands for quarterback Joe Flacco. Crockett Gillmore and Maxx Williams are two of the more promising tight ends in football and look for either one of them (or both) to really break out in 2016. The wild cards here are Dennis Pitta and Nick Boyle. Pitta is attempting to comeback from an injury that was thought to be career ending so anything he gives to the Ravens is a bonus. Boyle showed some promise in his 2015 rookie season, but suspensions seem to have derailed his career in Baltimore before it really got started.
Just due to the sheer presence of Tyler Eifert, the Bengals have a claim to be number one on this list. Unfortunately for them, they don't possess a ton of depth behind Eifert, with guys like Tyler Kroft and Ryan Hewitt backing him up. Interestingly, offensive lineman Jake Fisher is listed deep on the tight end depth chart and was somewhat involved in the passing game in 2015. This isn't something to take really seriously as his future is at tackle, but he is a player to keep an eye on; if number 74 reports as eligible, you're in for a world of trouble.
Gary Barnidge came out of nowhere to have a breakout season in 2015. Many are calling this a fluke, but his production was quite impressive, especially considering the situation he was in. He racked up 1,043 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, with a subpar pitching staff in Cleveland. Behind him is E.J. Bibbs who only caught one pass in 2015, but has shown promise for the Browns in the preseason.
The ageless Heath Miller finally hung up his cleats for the black and gold this offseason, much to the joy of every other team in the AFC North. Jesse James has promise for the Steelers but didn't produce very much in his rookie season of 2015. Ladarius Green is being brought over from San Diego to be the number one tight end, and he also has the potential break out in this wide open offense. This is a group that could be near the top as early as next year, but right now, they are built more on potential than anything else.