Jordan Cameron

Hope you have been enjoying this series, predicting who will be starting at each position in 2013.  Of course there will be many changes based on the results of the draft in April, as well as other happenings during the off season, so I’ll re-visit each column later in the summer.  But for those of us in dynasty and keeper leagues, some shrewd moves early in the off season based on forward thinking can really pay off.  I’ll provide a list of the 2012 Tight Ends and the percentage of the total receptions they had in 2012, along with a percentage prediction for 2013.




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Baltimore Ravens


2012 Tight Ends with percentage of team receptions

Dennis Pitta: 20%

Ed Dickson: 7%

Billy Bajema: 0%


Pitta had a solid season and will continue to be the primary tight end in Baltimore.  He’s an RFA that the Ravens will surely keep.  Dickson is also an RFA and will most likely be back as well.  Bajema is a UFA and won’t be back.


2013 Tight End forecast:

Dennis Pitta: 19%

Ed Dickson: 10%



Buffalo Bills


2012 Tight Ends with percentage of team receptions

Scott Chandler: 15%

Lee Smith: 0%

Mike Caussin: 0%

Joe Sawyer: 0%


Chandler is recovering from an ACL injury and reportedly won’t be ready for the start of the 2013 season.  Smith is purely a blocker.  Caussin is potentially the interim solution while Chandler recovers but his pass catching skills are limited.  Sawyer isn’t an option.  Dorin Dickerson is a bit of wild card, the hybrid FB/TE/WR could also fill in for Chandler and if given the chance could earn himself a larger role for the remainder of the year.  The Bills may decide to cut Chandler in which case they’ll be looking for a replacement via free agency and/or the draft.  I think Chandler stays.


2013 Tight End forecast:

Scott Chandler: 10%

Dorin Dickerson: 4%

Mike Caussin: 1%



Cincinnati Bengals


2012 Tight Ends with percentage of team receptions

Jermaine Gresham: 20%

Orson Charles: 2%

Richard Quinn: 0%


Gresham is a solid tight end but there are some questions about his upside.  He’ll be the number one guy again in 2013.  Charles hasn’t shown much in the limited opportunities he was given last season, but he was always going to be a bit of a project.  I think he has the most upside of any tight end from the 2012 draft.  He will start to assume a more prominent role this season and will eventually take the #1 spot from Gresham.  Quinn is a blocking end.


2013 Tight End forecast:

Jermaine Gresham: 15%

Orson Charles: 7%



Cleveland Browns


2012 Tight Ends with percentage of team receptions

Ben Watson: 15%

Jordan Cameron: 6%

Brad Smelley: 0%

Dan Gronkowski: 0%


Watson is a UFA and every indication is he won’t be re-signed.  Cameron did OK and has a bright future ahead as the heir to Watson.  Rumor is the Browns will target a name tight end via free agency, but I think they have bigger team needs to worry about.  Cameron should win the job in camp but look for the Browns to add someone, likely in the draft, for competition and depth.  Smelley is probably in the mix for pass catching depth.  Gronkowski is a blocker.


2013 Tight End forecast:

Jordan Cameron: 11%

New Guy: 7%

Brad Smelley: 3%



Denver Broncos


2012 Tight Ends with percentage of team receptions

Jacob Tamme(TE): 13%

Joel Dreessen: 10%

Virgil Green: 1%

Julius Thomas: 0%


Tamme figured to be a favorite target of Peyton Manning when he was brought over from Indy.  But he shared more targets with Joel Dreessen than most expected.  I believe the same thing will happen in 2013.  Green is a blocker and Thomas at this point looks like a long-term project that is doubtful to pan out.  With Wes Welker recently signed expect the overall tight end targets to drop.


2013 Tight End forecast:

Jacob Tamme: 11%

Joel Dreessen: 9%



Houston Texans


2012 Tight Ends with percentage of team receptions

Owen Daniels: 18%

Garrett Graham: 8%

Jake Byrne: 0%


Daniels had an excellent year in 2012 mostly just by staying healthy.  Expect another solid season from him.  Graham has some skills but for now will remain Daniels’ backup but will see some targets again.  Byrne is a good young player but is not forecast to be much of a pass catcher.  The Texans recently signed Phillip Supernaw but at least for now he’s not relevant.


2013 Tight End forecast:

Owen Daniels: 17%

Garrett Graham: 8%



Indianapolis Colts


2012 Tight Ends with percentage of team receptions

Dwayne Allen: 14%

Coby Fleener: 8%

Weslye Saunders: 1%


Both Allen and Fleener were drafted in 2012 with Fleener the higher pick therefore expected to be the more valuable.  But there were many who predicted Allen would eventually be the better overall tight end.  Based on 2012 I’d have to say they are looking right.  But I do expect the share of receptions to even out more in 2013.  Saunders is a blocker.


2013 Tight End forecast:

Dwayne Allen: 12%

Coby Fleener: 10%



Jacksonville Jaguars


2012 Tight Ends with percentage of team receptions

Marcedes Lewis: 17%

Zach Potter: 1%

Isaiah Stanback: 0%

Allen Reisner: 0%

Brett Brackett: 0%

Matt Veldman: 0%


Lewis may be ready to come near the heights that saw him hit 700 yards receiving a couple of years ago.  Potter is a blocking tight end, Stanback is the definition of injury prone and Reisner is a pure special teamer at this point.  Brackett is a decent prospect who could get some receptions in 2013 if he’s healthy.  Veldman will be lucky to hold onto his roster spot and is destined to be a special teamer if he does.


2013 Tight End forecast:

Marcedes Lewis: 18%

Brett Brackett: 2%



Kansas City Chiefs


2012 Tight Ends with percentage of team receptions

Tony Moeaki: 12%

Steve Maneri: 2%

Kevin Boss: 1%

Jake O’Connell: 1%

Martin Rucker: 0%


Moeaki was generally ineffective and ended the season injured.  The Chiefs signed free agent Anthony Fasano, I expect he and Moeaki to be more or less a 1 and 1a in 2013.  Maneri is an ex offensive tackle but played tight end in college.  If they ever gave him a chance to be a pass catcher he could surprise.  Boss was released in the off season due to injuries.  O’Connell is a free agent blocker.  Rucker is an RFA who is mostly used on special teams.  Newly signed Kevin Brock is a special teamer.  With new coach Andy Reid and new QB Alex Smith on board, look for an increase in tight end receptions.


2013 Tight End forecast:

Tony Moeaki: 10%

Anthony Fasano: 10%



Miami Dolphins


2012 Tight Ends with percentage of team receptions

Anthony Fasano: 14%

Charles Clay: 6%

Jeron Mastrud: 0%

Michael Egnew: 0%

Kyle Miller: 0%


Fasano was signed by the Chiefs, so the Dolphins went out and signed Dustin Keller from the Jets.  It’s a bit of an upgrade but overall it should be pretty much status quo from the tight end position.  I would have liked to see them give Clay a chance to be the number one man but obviously Miami isn’t confident that he can do the job yet which is understandable.  Mastrud is a free agent who probably won’t be back.  Egnew is looking like a 2012 draft bust, which doesn’t really surprise me I have never been high on his NFL prospects.  Miller is a special teamer.  With a significant upgrade at the receiver position the tight end receptions will decline but I don’t think it will be significant.


2013 Tight End forecast:

Dustin Keller: 11%

Charles Clay: 7%



New England Patriots


2012 Tight Ends with percentage of team receptions

Rob Gronkowski: 15%

Aaron Hernandez: 14%

Michael Hoomanawanui: 1%

Daniel Fells: 1%

Kellen Winslow Jr: 0%

Jake Ballard: 0%

Brad Herman: 0%


Gronkowski should be ready for camp but several surgeries on the same arm are a little worrisome.  If healthy though his numbers will go up.  Hernandez does not have any injury concerns going forward should be more of the same in 2013.  Hoomanawanui was used primarily as a blocker and should continue going forward.  Fells is a bit redundant with all the bodies the Pats have at the tight end position but at this point he’s still on the roster.  Winslow was released back in September and is likely done.  Ballard should be ready for camp but will have to win himself a roster spot.  Herman is at best a long term project.


2013 Tight End forecast:

Rob Gronkowski: 18%

Aaron Hernandez: 13%



New York Jets


2012 Tight Ends with percentage of team receptions

Dustin Keller: 11%

Jeff Cumberland: 11%

Konrad Reuland: 4%

Hayden Smith: 0%

Dedrick Epps: 0%


Keller signed as a free agent with the Dolphins so the Jets need to figure out who his replacement will be.  Cumberland showed some ability last year so with the team unable to afford much in the way of free agency Cumberland may just get the job.  Reuland should also get some receptions if he can improve his blocking ability.  Smith is a bit of a project but could be a nice sleeper pick if he can continue to develop.  Epps is purely depth.


2013 Tight End forecast:

Jeff Cumberland: 13%

Konrad Reuland: 8%

Hayden Smith: 5%



Oakland Raiders


2012 Tight Ends with percentage of team receptions

Brandon Myers: 22%

David Ausberry: 2%

Richard Gordon: 1%

Mickey Schuler: 0%


Myers was signed by the Giants as a free agent.  The Raiders will likely sign or draft a tight end but I think they will give Ausberry a shot at the number one job.  He’s got the talent he just needs to work on his skills and be given the opportunity.  Gordon is not starting caliber but a nice backup.  Shuler is purely depth.


2013 Tight End forecast:

David Ausberry: 12%

New Guy: 10%

Richard Gordon: 2%



Pittsburgh Steelers


2012 Tight Ends with percentage of team receptions

Heath Miller: 21%

David Paulson: 2%

Leonard Pope: 1%

Jamie McCoy: 0%

Zack Pianalto: 0%


Miller is recovering from serious knee surgery and may not be ready for the start of the 2013 season and may not be fully recovered until 2014.  Paulson may hold onto Miller’s spot until he’s healthy but he’s a stopgap measure at best.  Pope is a free agent and really only a blocker.  With the Steelers recently signing Matt Spaeth it looks like Pope will not be back.  McCoy is probably better suited for fullback which tells you about his pass catching ability.  Pianalto may one day be a starter but I don’t think he’s ready yet.


2013 Tight End forecast:

Heath Miller: 12%

David Paulson: 9%



San Diego Chargers


2012 Tight Ends with percentage of team receptions

Antonio Gates: 16%

Dante Rosario: 3%

Randy McMichael: 3%

Ladarius Green: 1%


Gates had a rough year and appears to be on the downside of his career.  He should have at least one more decent year in him.  Rosario has never been a pass catching threat so it was no surprise that his 3 TD week 2 was a fluke.  He’s a free agent and may or may not be back.  McMichael was recently released.  2012 rookie Green should eventually take over the number one job but he’s not ready yet.  The Chargers signed free agent tight end John Phillips a few days ago, he looks to be the insurance policy if Gates struggles even worse and Green is indeed not able to step in.


2013 Tight End forecast:

Antonio Gates: 14%

John Phillips: 5%

Ladarius Green: 4%



Tennessee Titans


2012 Tight Ends with percentage of team receptions

Jared Cook: 15%

Craig Stevens: 8%

Taylor Thompson: 2%

Brandon Barden: 0%

Martell Webb: 0%


Cook was a free agent signed away by the Rams, leaving the Titans with a big hole to fill.  They responded by signing free agent Delanie Walker from the Niners.  Stevens has been primarily a blocker but has shown when given a chance that he can catch the ball.  Thompson is still too inexperienced but the Titans feel he can eventually become the number one guy.  I’m not convinced of that but for now he’s expected to continue to develop.  Barden is in legal trouble and will almost surely be cut.  Webb is no more than depth.


2013 Tight End forecast:

Delanie Walker: 13%

Taylor Thompson: 8%

Craig Stevens: 4%



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