AFC East tight end rankings

May, 11, 2012
5/11/12
5:00
PM ET
Earlier this week we took a look at the best running backs in the division. On Wednesday, we will examine another position: tight ends.

Here are the top four tight ends according to the AFC East blog:

No. 1: Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots

Skinny: Say what you want about Gronkowski's personality, but he is a beast on the field. His size, wing span and strong hands have made him an elite tight end in just two seasons. Gronkowski had an NFL record 17 touchdown receptions for a tight end in 2011 and is nearly impossible to stop in the red zone.

No. 2: Aaron Hernandez, Patriots

Skinny: Hernandez is part tight end, part wide receiver. He was probably the Patriots' best deep threat last year, although receiver Brandon Lloyd will take over the role this season. Hernandez is a top-10 tight end but a second option in New England. Hernandez probably will get a shot to be the guy somewhere else when his rookie contract expires in a couple years.

No. 3: Dustin Keller, New York Jets

Skinny: Keller set career highs with receptions (65) and yards (815) last season. He was Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez's most reliable weapon from the start of the season to the end. Keller has a lot of tools. He's able to make the catches in traffic as well as stretch the field. Keller should improve as New York's passing offense becomes more efficient.

No. 4: Anthony Fasano, Miami Dolphins

Skinny: Fasano is a solid player but not great at any particular thing. He does stretch the field better than he's given credit for. He averaged a career-high 14.1 yards per reception in 2011. I'm curious to see how well Fasano fits in Miami's new West Coast offense. Fasano also won't have the luxury of Brandon Marshall taking away coverage and double teams.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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