2018 NFL Preseason Depth Chart Shuffle: Tight Ends - Footballguys

Outlining the key strong and weak NFL depth charts at the tight end position in advance of the 53-player roster cuts in 2018

Opportunity is king in projecting fantasy football production. Here is a look at the overly strong and weak NFL depth charts at each skill position and what potential cut players could quickly find 53-man roster spots elsewhere, continuing with the wide receiver position:

Quarterback Edition

Running Back Edition

Wide Receiver Edition

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The typical NFL roster keeps three tight ends


Will Tye: The former Giants starter for a moment in time is now fighting for a roster spot in New England. Tye is not likely to be in the top-3 and could provide veteran depth elsewhere.

Jets Tight Ends: New York has five challengers for their top-3 and it looks like Eric Tomlinson and Neal Sterling have most consistently run with the first team. Jordan Leggett is intriguing after missing his rookie year, but clearly behind Tomlinson and Sterling at a minimum. Clive Walford could be a cut as well with the team liking rookie, but dinged up, Christopher Herndon.

Maxx Williams: With the Ravens drafting Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews within the top-100 this year and Nick Boyle seeing consistent time with the starters, the Top 3 looks stable. That means Williams, an underachiever and durability-challenged former Round 2 pick, is fighting for a roster spot this year. With Hurst out 3-4 weeks with a foot procedure, Williams may have a better shot to start the season on the roster.

Stephen Anderson: He saw notable playing time last season, clearly looks buried with Ryan Griffin the starter and rookies Jordan Akins (more receiver) and Jordan Thomas (more blocker) seeing time with the time and over Anderson this preseason.

Erik Swoope: While returning from injury, the Colts have Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron clearly ahead of Swoope. While a better chance to make the roster than a few of the others mentioned, Swoope is in danger of being cut.

Austin Traylor: Traylor saw some playing time with Denver sustaining positional injuries last year, but Jake Butt is back and they drafted Troy Fumagalli as additions for 2018 to Jeff Heuerman (likely Week 1 starter).

Cowboys Tight Ends: Dallas drafted Dalton Schultz on Day 3 and Rico Gathers returns from injury. Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin project as the top-2 for Week 1, creating a logjam down the depth chart.

Robert Tonyan: Who? The Packers tight end has flashed this preseason and the stacked depth chart of Jimmy Graham, Lance Kendricks, and Marcedes Lewis makes it tough for Tonyan to make the team.

Saints Tight Ends: With Ben Watson and Josh Hill locks for the roster, young developmental options Dan Arnold and Deon Yelder, along with veteran Michael Hoomanawanui, are fighting for one or two spots.


Bills: Logan Thomas is still very much developmental and Nick O'Leary is a solid, but limited primary backup to Charles Clay.

Steelers: The concerns for Pittsburgh are the limited ceiling for Jesse James, a solid blocker, but lacking receiver beyond five yards downfield. Also, Vance McDonald has struggled to string together health to-date as the high-variance receiving threat hopeful. Beyond them, the Steelers lack any trustworthy options.

Chiefs: They have been developing Demetrius Harris as the primary backup to Travis Kelce for a few seasons with success, but the cupboard is bare beyond Harris, who is suspended Week 1. Jace Amaro is a low-level reclamation project and Blake Mack an undersized rookie of note, but Kansas City looks to benefit from potential cuts from other teams.

Chargers: Antonio Gates has still not signed as of publication, but even if he rejoins the team, they are lacking options without Hunter Henry this season. Virgil Green has been a baseline player during his career and beyond Green is a hodgepodge of low-probability options and low-ceiling veterans.

Raiders: Lee Smith is mostly a blocker as the TE2 and Derek Carrier has eroded from his brief spurt of viability years ago in Washington as the best promise of upside at TE3/4.

Giants: Rhett Ellison is the clear TE2, a limiting proposition, which leaves Jerrell Adams as the likely TE3. The Giants are in need of an upgrade beyond starter Evan Engram.

Falcons: Eric Saubert has shown some developmental upside as the TE3, but Logan Paulsen is a limited veteran currently in the TE2 spot.

Cardinals: Ricky Seals-Jones is the earmarked starter with Gabe Holmes a functional, but run-of-the-mill TE2. Jermaine Gresham was eroding physically even before an Achilles injury, which creates a question mark for the older veteran going forward.

Rams: The future of the depth chart rest on the development of 2017 Round 2 pick Gerald Everett. Tyler Higbee is a baseline NFL talent and the rest of the depth chart is shaky.

Seahawks: Ed Dickson is the free agent signing with Nick Vannett a former Day 2 pick who has developed over his early seasons. Will Dissly is a blocking-centric option drafted late in 2018. Overall, the long-term starter is not likely on Seattle's roster.