Rather than debate the minutiae of a forced ranking of tight ends, would you agree that the following tight ends are in the appropriate tiers? (where one expects all tight ends in the same tier to post similar stats for the 2007 season)
Top Tier Gates, Antonio
Second Tier Gonzalez, Tony Heap, Todd Shockey, Jeremy Winslow, Kellen (if healthy) Crumpler, Alge Davis, Vernon
Third Tier Watson, Ben Witten, Jason Cooley, Chris Smith, L.J. Clark, Dallas
Fourth Tier Miller, Heath Scheffler, Tony McMichael, Randy
Fifth Tier Daniels, Owen Pollard, Marcus Graham, Daniel Troupe, Ben Clark, Desmond
"Best of the Rest" Lewis, Marcedes Olsen, Greg Martin, David Miller, Zach Johnson, Eric Scaife, Bo Shiancoe, Visanthe
I think I'd put Heath Miller up in the 3rd tier this year. They're planning on using him more like how Indy used Dallas Clark last year by lining him up in the slot and out wide at WR sometimes to get him more involved in the passing game. He's a great receiving TE so he could be up for a pretty good year this year....he's also a good redzone target.
There's a lot of expectations on Johnson, atleast around here there are. A pass catcher in a powerful offense I can see him getting his in NO. Just a matter of how much. I don't expect huge numbers but decent enough.
BTW these rankings are crud without Bubba Franks
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Personally, I would put Cooley up in the second tier, and believe it or not, replace him with Shockey. Between his own injuries, and Eli flat out stinking. Shockey is a third tier guy for me. Other than that, looks pretty good.
Dos Heap KW3 Vernon Davis* Heath Miller 3 Crumpler Cooley* Clark 4 Shockey Gonzalez^ L.J. Smith Ben Watson
5 Witten, Jason* McMichael Daniel Owens^ Eric Johnson^
6 Scheffler^ Greg Olsen^ Lewis, Marcedes Chris Baker^ David Martin Shiancoe, Visanthe*
7 Leonard Pope Zach Miller Jeremy Stevens* Alex Smith* Robert Royal*
8 Bo Scaife Troupe Daniel Wilcox
The Rest Pollard, Marcus Graham, Daniel Clark, Desmond Jermaine Wiggins Bubba Franks Kevin Boss George Wrighster Donald Lee (^^^^^^^)
*- Could also be a tier lower ^- Could also be a tier higher
Witten will NOT be lower than a 5th tier (he won't even be that low). He had one low TD year and now he's that low? He's a 3rd Tier at worst, potentially 2nd Tier if Phillips tries to utilize him like Gates.
14 Teams, each keep 14 players QB: P. Manning, Schaub RB: MJD, Westy, C. Johnson, A. Bradshaw, J. Ringer WR: TO, Driver, J. Gage, Crabtree, J. Morgan, K. Curtis, E. Bennett, M. Sims-Walker TE: Witten, M. Lewis K: Gostkowski, J. Brown D/ST: Tenn, NE