I’ll spare you the preamble, but if you’re interested in my process when determining my positional rankings, you can find that and my QB rankings here. I also ranked the glamour positions at wide receiver and running back if that’s something that interests you.
This tight end class was a bit of a let down following last year’s group. Mike Gesicki is as athletic as they come, but he’s nowhere near being a capable blocker in the NFL. He’s essentially a jumbo wide receiver, which is great for fantasy. Ian Thomas is also an athletic freak, but very raw as a tight end. He moved up based on an ideal landing spot in Carolina where he can learn behind Greg Olsen who nearly retired this off-season. They’ll bring Thomas along slowly, and when Olsen moves on, he should be able to step right into his role.
I mentioned Jaylen Samuels above. I’ve removed him from my TE rankings. I liked Mark Andrews coming in as a receiving option and rumor has it he’s already building a Dennis Pitta-like rapport with Joe Flacco. New teammate Hayden Hurst might have been drafted earlier and is a better all-around, NFL ready tight end, and may end up being a better professional football player, but I don’t think he’ll be a better fantasy option.
Dallas Goedert fell in my rankings because I initially thought he was going to be behind 27-year-old Zach Ertz for years to come. After looking at Ertz’s contract, it’s possible that Goedert could take the reins as early as 2019, but no later than 2021. Either way, Ertz hasn’t played a full season in three years, so Goedert should get a chance to showcase his talents in small doses for a year or two, forcing the Philly brass to make some tough decisions if he flashes some skill. Trey Burton was fantasy relevant last year in a limited role so there’s no reason to think Goedert can’t follow in his path.
Of the remaining players, Tyler Conklin impressed me at the Senior Bowl and could be the eventual replacement for 28-year old Kyle Rudolph. Dalton Schultz isn’t being talked about at all after landing in Dallas who just saw Jason Witten retire with minimal competition ahead of him. Marcus Baugh is just a guy and should probably be outside of my top 10, but there isn’t much of a difference between him at 9 or 11 at this point. Jordan Aikens is interesting. A 3rd round selection by Houston with little to nothing keeping him from sliding into the top tight end spot, Aikens might end up at the most productive tight end in this class during their rookie season.