Ranking the five best Tennessee Titans tight ends to ever grace the two-tone blue since the team became the Titans in 1999.
The Tennessee Titans are starting minicamp soon after wrapping up OTAs, and the news from the team right now is scarce. Most Titans news at the moment revolves around rumors, such as the Eric Decker situation. It’s only a matter of time before actual football starts.
While we bring you plenty of notes from the things happening around the team, this period allows us to travel back in time and look at the franchise’s past. Up next in a series of the best Titans players at every position are the tight ends.
NOTE: These lists will only feature players that played for the team since they became the Titans in 1999.
5. Craig Stevens (2008-2015)
This isn’t a picked based on production, but Stevens was never meant to be a stats guy. Drafted to be mainly a blocker, Stevens was a vital part of Chris Johnson‘s outstanding Titans career, playing in nearly every game CJ2K played. Stevens was never much of a thought in the passing game, but he made tough catches when his number was called.
Stevens retired unexpectedly before last season, paving the way for Anthony Fasano to take his place. Fasano did a great job as his replacement, but Stevens had been playing at the same type of level with the same type of impact for eight Titans seasons. A model Titan football player.
4. Erron Kinney (2000-2005)
Younger fans might not remember the iconic look of a large man wearing #88 with a neck roll sticking out of his jersey, but it was a staple of the first half of the 2000s for the Titans. A mountain of a human being, Kinney was a safety valve for Steve McNair, and even Billy Volek. A true two-way tight end, Kinney did it all as Frank Wycheck began to slow down towards the end of his career.
Kinney struggled with some injuries, but ended his career with 178 catches, 1,750 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. His solid blocking and sure hands were paramount for a Titans offense that relied on running the ball and moving the chains.
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3. Bo Scaife (2005-2010)
For a sixth round draft pick, I’d say Scaife fully exceeded expectations. Scaife came in as a rookie and quickly contributed 37 catches. Scaife’s highest touchdown total was only four, but he was a valuable option and good friend (on the field at least) for Vince Young and Kerry Collins from 2006-2009. Scaife ended his career with 251 receptions, 2,383 receiving yards
2. Delanie Walker (2013-present)
Walker took no time to be considered for a list like this, as his first two seasons in Tennessee alone would’ve put him into the top 10 in both receiving yards and touchdowns for tight ends in Titans history. Walker continued to stand out over his next two seasons, and has now shot up to second in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns for a Titans tight end. Walker has been, without a doubt, one of the best free agent signings in recent Titans history.
It’s fair to wonder how much longer he’ll play, but he’s shown zero signs of slowing down as he enters his age 33 season. Walker needs 200 more receptions and 1,609 receiving yards to catch Wycheck, but five more touchdowns and he’ll be the most prolific scoring tight end in Titans history.
1. Frank Wycheck (1995-2003)
Much like Steve McNair and Derrick Mason, this one is a no-brainer. Wycheck owns the Titans tight end records for receptions, receiving yards, touchdowns and, most importantly, games played. Aside from touchdowns, no other tight end really comes close to matching his level of production. Up until his final season, in which he missed six games, Wycheck had missed just one (in his second-to-last-season) for the Oilers and Titans.
A three-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro, Wycheck was everything you could possibly want a tight end to be: Sure-handed, a good blocker and a reliable option when you needed to move the chains or needed an important catch. Walker has come close and could very well pass Wycheck if he keeps up his level of play for a few more seasons, but Wycheck was the original prototypical Titans tight end, let alone player. A bonafide Titans legend.
Honorable Mentions: Jared Cook (one of the most inconsistent football players to ever wear two-tone blue, Cook’s massive talent was always accompanied by mistakes), Ben Troupe (much like Cook, Troupe was an athletic specimen who never realized his true potential), Alge Crumpler (just two seasons in his early 30s, Crumpler will best be known for his fumble in the 2008 playoffs), Anthony Fasano (stellar run blocker and wide open on every tight end throwback during his two seasons in Tennessee, but too short of a stint)