Philadelphia Eagles News

2010 Free Agency Rankings: Tight End

The Eagles have one of the best young tight ends in the NFL in Brent Celek, who was a Pro Bowl alternate last year. After him, there are a lot of question marks. Alex Smith was the backup last year, but he's scheduled to become a restricted free agent. Cornelius Ingram was impressive in training camp before his ACL injury. But he's now missed two straight years due to injury. Martin Rucker didn't play a snap, but showed a lot of promise. Here are my top tight ends available in free agency.

1. Owen Daniels, Houston Texans (RFA)
This is not a strong class of tight ends. Daniels is the best of the bunch. He missed half the season due to injury, but still caught 40 passes, including five touchdowns. Daniels is a gifted receiver with good athletic ability. He's an adequate blocker.

2. Tony Scheffler, Denver Broncos (RFA)
Scheffler is an athletic receiver with rare big-play ability for a tight end. He had an impressive 13 receptions of 20 or more yards in 2008. He was a perfect fit in the Mike Shanahan offense. He played well for Josh McDaniels, but wasn't as much of an impact player. Scheffler also had some problems with the new staff. He was very close to Jay Cutler and it really bothered him to see Cutler traded. The Broncos are probably willing to let him go if the price is right.

3. Bo Scaife, Tennessee Titans (RFA)
Solid, but unspectacular player. Scaife has three straight years with at least 45 receptions. That's the solid part. He's only scored four touchdowns and hasn't averaged 10 yards per catch in that time. That is the unspectacular part. Scaife is a reliable receiver and effective blocker.

4. Randy McMichael, St. Louis Rams (UFA)
The 31-year old veteran has been a productive receiver throughout his career. His numbers dipped in recent years, but that had a lot to do with pedestrian quarterback play. McMichael is still a talented pass catcher. He can be an effective starter, but is probably best suited to being part of a tandem. Playing with a good quarterback could do McMichael a lot of good.

5. Ben Watson, New England Patriots (UFA)
Former first-round pick never developed into a special player. Watson is a capable starter. He has good size at 6-3 and 255 pounds. He never became a workhorse receiver, but he has solid pass catching skills. Watson is a good red zone threat. He's caught 13 TDs in the last three seasons.

6. Anthony Fasano, Miami Dolphins (RFA)
Fasano has emerged as a good starter for the Dolphins. He was a backup in Dallas for two years and caught just 28 passes. He has 65 catches in his two years in Miami. Fasano (6-4 and 255 pounds) is also a good blocker. He's only 26 years old. His best football still lies ahead of him.

7. Jeff King, Carolina Panthers (RFA)
King isn't the typical pass-catching type of tight end. He is a good blocker and solid receiver. King has only caught 46 passes over the last two years, but that is due to the Panthers offense. They focus on running the ball and throwing to Steve Smith. King isn't a special receiver or athlete, but he will appeal to teams that like to run the ball and want a complete player.

8. Alge Crumpler, Tennessee Titans (UFA)
Crumpler isn't the player he once was. He is now strictly a backup or complementary player. He still has good hands and knows how to get open. Crumpler is good for 20 catches. He also knows how to get the job done as a blocker. He could use a little work in the conditioning department.

9. David Thomas, New Orleans Saints (RFA)
Thomas is coming off the best season of his young career. He only caught 21 passes in his three seasons as a Patriot. Thomas caught 35 passes this year with the Saints. I think he's more of a role player than a starting type of tight end. He has good hands, but isn't anything special as a receiver. He gives good effort as a blocker. Thomas is only 26 years old and last year he proved that he has plenty of good football ahead of him.

10. Will Heller, Detroit Lions (UFA)
The 29-year-old journeyman had a career season in 2009. He caught 29 passes (three for touchdowns) after only having 36 catches in his first seven years. Heller is massive at 6-6 and 275 pounds. He is a good blocker. He isn't a starter, but could be a very good role player for someone.

-- Posted by Tommy Lawlor, 2:15 p.m., February 28*

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