Tight end rankings are often widely debated as the position is one of the more widely scouted and interrupted. Personally, it is about projection with a tiny hint of current ability and production. Because of those differences in scouting between teams and the media, top tight ends don’t often emerge for two to three years after being drafted.
However, exceptions are made and can appear and in the 2024 NFL Draft there is a glaring one.
Brock Bowers out of Georgia will be the clear-cut top tight end prospect. If position value is taken out of the discussion, Bowers is the best prospect in all of college football. When it comes to the rest of the class, however, you have to go over it with a fine toothcomb to find any more diamonds.
Outside of the clear-cut number one, how deep is this class? These tight end rankings should show the tier difference that immediately happens once we move on from Bowers.
The best prospect in college football for the 2024 NFL Draft is Brock Bowers. He is a much better prospect than Kyle Pitts coming out of Florida or Vernon Davis coming out of Maryland, both of them were top-five picks. What Bowers does to dominate these tight end rankings is simple, he wins every rep he has. Blocking? He is better than most tackle prospects teams draft beyond round one. Receiving? He is a smooth route runner and is creative in space like a wide receiver. He could be a top-tier tight end in the NFL within two to three years minimum, what else can be said?
Iowa and tight ends have seemingly become a guarantee for the NFL draft. George Kittle, Noah Fant, T.J., and Hockenson are the three major names the program boasts as being alumni of the football program while being great NFL tight ends. Sam LaPorta was drafted last year and while he may have had the league’s attention, Luke Lachey deserves it all now. A gritty, well-rounded tight end, Lachey comes in second in these tight end rankings, which is very respectable. He can be a do-it-all guy for the Hawkeyes offense and in the NFL he can do the same.
A bit of projection in these tight end rankings, Cade Stover could be higher in these rankings come April. Stover has the physical style of play that makes him a blast to watch, he is the definition of a lunchpale type of player who doesn’t take any plays off. He was recruited as a linebacker and has played both that and tight end while at Ohio State. They seem set on letting him further develop at tight end and that growth could be going in a unique direction depending on the quarterback play he gets this year.
Ja’Tavion Sanders may seem low in these tight end rankings so let’s discuss. Sanders has the size and athletic playstyle to be a much better pro than he has been so far in college. That is the case for many college tight ends and despite the offense he is in, that may be the case for Sanders. While at Texas though, he has shown some serious promise and has been a productive safety valve for Quinn Ewers.
A seasoned veteran of the Golden Gophers, Brevyn Spann-Ford should have no problem finding NFL success upon entering the league. He has the size and well-rounded ability to make any roster at the next level. His skill set is complete as mentioned but he lacks being “great” at anything. Not saying that he can’t develop more but when you are a sixth-year player it becomes hard to imagine much changing or him getting much higher in these tight end rankings.
Benjamin Yurosek, Stanford
Bryson Nesbitt, North Carolina
Jaheim Bell, Florida State