Last week, Pro Football Focus’ Ben Linsley released PFF’s annual rankings of the 32 best tight ends entering the upcoming NFL season. On Linsley’s list, Ravens’ TE Mark Andrews comes in at the No. 6 spot behind Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Darren Waller, Kyle Pitts and Dallas Goedert.
“Andrews’ skill set marries well with what the Ravens want to do in the passing game,” Linsley said. “He’s a big target who can work down the seams, and he has come up big in the red zone. His 12 red-zone touchdowns over the past two seasons are tied with Kelce for the most at the position.”
Linsley also credited Andrews for sustaining a high workload over the past two seasons:
“Andrews is also one of the few tight ends in the league who has served as his team’s primary target in recent years. Andrews (185) and Marquise Brown (160) are the only players on the team with 100-plus targets since 2019.”
Andrews is fairly well-regarded as one of the better tight ends in the NFL at this point, so it’s no surprise to see him garner national recognition such as this. His ascent to becoming a premier tight end in the league in just a few short seasons has been impressive.
While labeling Andrews as the sixth-best tight end in the NFL seems both fair and reasonable, there’s an argument to be made that he should be even higher on Linsley’s rankings. It’s difficult to argue against the trio of Kelce, Kittle and Waller atop the list, but it’s a bit surprising to see Kyle Pitts and Dallas Goedert come in ahead of Andrews.
Pitts is one of the best tight end prospects in recent memory and has all the tools to be successful for the Falcons in 2021 and beyond. However, he is a rookie after all and has yet to accomplish anything in the NFL. Therefore, slotting him No. 4 on the list is a matter of projection on the part of Linsley.
“This may be early for a player who has yet to take an NFL snap, but it’s a reflection of the caliber of prospect Pitts is coming out of Florida. He’s just different.” Linsley says.
While truthful, this does seem unfair to Andrews — who has been a top-tier pass-catcher at the position for the past two seasons while Pitts has yet to take an NFL snap. Goedert is an interesting case as well. After splitting playing time with Zach Ertz for several seasons, he’s projected to step into a featured role for the first time this year.
“Goedert is actually the only tight end in the NFL with receiving and run-blocking grades of 80.0 or higher since 2018,” Linsley notes. “He ranks seventh in receiving grade and first in run-blocking grade over that three-year span.”
While underrated and potentially in-line for a breakout season, Andrews has out-produced Goedert to this point — so ranking the latter ahead of the former is again based somewhat on projection. Goedert is the superior run blocker between the two, though, to be fair.
Rounding out the Top-10 of the list are T.J. Hockenson, Mike Gesicki, Rob Gronkowski and Hunter Henry. You can check out the full PFF article here.
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