By John McFarland of the Associated Press Tight ends 1. Jason Witten, Dallas: Romo’s pal always seems open, hard to tackle. 2. Antonio Gates, San Diego: Did all that playing hurt. Surgically repaired big toe still healing. 3. Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City: Did all that with no real QB. 4. Kellen Winslow, Cleveland: Actually backed up swagger last season. 5. Dallas Clark, Indianapolis: Doesn’t get many yards, but always catches TD passes. 6. Jeremy Shockey, New Orleans: Had his best year when new coach Sean Payton was his offensive coordinator. 7. Chris Cooley, Washington: Offense may be more run-oriented. 8. Alge Crumpler, Tennessee: Vince Young’s new go-to guy? 9. Heath Miller, Pittsburgh: Great short-yardage guy since Steelers no longer interested in short TD runs. 10. Vernon Davis, San Francisco: New offense will actually acknowledge his hulking existence. 11. Owen Daniels, Houston: Texans finally have reliable tight end. 12. Kevin Boss, NY Giants: New starter excelled while replacing the injured Shockey in the playoffs. 13. Todd Heap, Baltimore: Back after missing 10 games to injury. 14. L.J. Smith, Philadelphia: Was hurt most of last year. 15. Tony Scheffler, Denver: I have no idea who this guy is, but nice numbers.
Defense/Special teams 1. Minnesota. Jared Allen adds 15 sacks, sets up lots of picks. 2. New England: Still old, still solid. 3. San Diego: Snagged league-most 30 interceptions last year. 4. Seattle: Always better at home, for some reason. 5. Indianapolis. Allowed NFL-low 16.4 points a game. 6. Pittsburgh: Allowed fewest yards last year. 7. NY Giants: Led league in sacks, though will miss Michael Strahan. 8. Tampa Bay: Second in yards allowed. 9. Tennessee: Keeps team in games. 10. Dallas: Hoping Pacman Jones will be cleared for season opener. 11. Jacksonville. New defensive coordinator Gregg Williams helps already tough unit. 12. Chicago. Defense stinks, but plenty of kick returns. 13. Green Bay: Nobody ran much on Pack last year. 14. Houston: Lots of sacks, kick returns. 15. Baltimore: Aging D still has a little something left, though may be very little. 16. Philadelphia: Allowed fewest TDs in league. 17. Washington: In shocking development, added another aging big name. 18. Denver: Oakland, Kansas City QBs should pad the sack and interception stats. 19. Buffalo: Added lots of help in offseason. 20. New Orleans: Revamping defense was top priority.
Kickers 1. Mason Crosby, Green Bay: 141 points, 31 FGs. 2. Stephen Gostkowski, New England: 137, 21. 3. Rob Bironas, Tennessee: 133, 35. 4. Nick Folk, Dallas: 131, 26. 5. Shayne Graham, Cincinnati: 130, 31. 6. Olindo Mare, Seattle: 64, 30. 7. John Kasay, Carolina: 99, 24. 8. Phil Dawson, Cleveland, 120, 26. 9. Robbie Gould, Chicago: 126, 31. 10. Josh Brown, St. Louis, 127, 28. 11. Matt Bryant, Tampa Bay, 118, 28. 12. Nate Kaeding, San Diego: 118, 24. 13. Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis: 118, 23. 14. Shaun Suisham, Washington: 116, 29. 15. Kris Brown, Houston, 115, 25. 16. Jeff Reed, Pittsburgh, 113, 23. 17. Mike Nugent, NY Jets: 110, 29. 18. Neil Rackers, Arizona: 110, 21. 19. Lawrence Tynes, NY Giants, 109, 23. 20. Jason Elam, Atlanta, 114, 27.