NFC East: 2011 TE breakdown

Breaking down the TEs: New York

April, 15, 2011
4/15/11
1:00
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Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson examines the tight ends of each NFC East team. Today: New York Giants.

Kevin Boss is an underrated all-around player, but New York has to be last on this list because Boss could become a free agent. It would surprise me if Boss weren’t retained, but that possibility lowers the Giants' ranking. Boss is a big, able receiver who has a little field-stretching ability (15.2 yards per catch) and has the skill set to thrive in the red zone. He runs better than many realize. Boss can move the chains and be a factor in the middle of the field. He started last season very slowly, but then quickly picked up the pace in a big way before injuring his hip. As New York’s dynamic wide receivers went down, Boss’ receiving contributions went up -- proving his ability to help the Giants (or another team) in this capacity. But it also cannot be overlooked that Boss had way too many dropped passes last season. New York’s receivers need to help Eli Manning more than they did.

The Giants had high hopes for Travis Beckum as a receiving threat in the mold of a Dallas Clark, but that has yet to come to fruition. When the Giants did use Beckum, they often detached him from the formation. He needs to do a much better job exploiting favorable matchups, and he isn’t much of a blocker.

Dallas tops this list easily and probably is stronger at the tight end position than any team in football. After Dallas, there could be an argument made for the Eagles at No. 2 based on Brent Celek’s 2009 production, but his downturn was just too dramatic to ignore, which places the Eagles third behind Washington. New York brings up the rear.

Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.

Breaking down the TEs: Dallas

April, 11, 2011
4/11/11
1:00
PM ET
Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson examines the tight ends of each NFC East team. Today: Dallas Cowboys.

Plain and simple: Jason Witten is the best all-around tight end in all of football. He is exceptional in all phases of the position and really excelled as a receiver once Jon Kitna became the starting quarterback. Witten is excellent at moving the chains and is extremely reliable. He catches everything near him and offers something after the catch. He was the most-targeted tight end in the league last season -- with very few drops. He is also one of the best blocking tight ends in the game.

There was some unrest among the Cowboys’ wide receivers in 2010, but considering the wealth of receiving options in Dallas, Martellus Bennett’s 33 catches is a pretty impressive number. Bennett has also developed into a fantastic blocker. He's a young player with a ton of ability. He could really break out if given the chance, but that's very difficult with Witten around.

Expect the Cowboys to use a lot of double tight-end sets going forward -- they probably have the best stable at the position in the entire league.

Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.

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